Brigitte Gomperts, MD

Brigitte Gomperts, MD 

Associate Professor

Bio

Brigitte Gomperts, MD, focuses on the role of adult stem cells in repair and regeneration of the lungs.

The goal of her research is to understand the normal repair processes in the airway that recapitulate lung development. Studying these adult stem cells in repair and regeneration of the lungs may provide new insights into diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and bronchiolitis obliterans. The ultimate goal is to use this knowledge to develop novel targeted therapies and prevention strategies for lung diseases.

Dr. Gomperts has identified a progenitor cell population that is important in airway epithelial repair, but persists in pre-malignant lesions and is associated with a poor prognosis in lung tumors. This finding may help predict patients with a higher likelihood of recurrence of their lung cancer and also suggests that this progenitor cell population may be the tumor-initiating cell for some lung cancers. Thus, understanding the biology of these progenitor cells may help develop therapies to prevent the development of lung cancer

A member of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center, Dr. Gomperts is an associate professor of pediatric hematology/oncology. She joined the UCLA faculty in 2003 after completing a pediatric residency and pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She earned her medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dr. Gomperts also is affiliated with UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Molecular Biology Institute. She’s a member of the American Thoracic Society and the International Society for Stem Cell Research, a nonprofit organization that fosters the exchange of stem cell research information.

Dr. Gomperts' work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Defense, American Thoracic Society, Concern Foundation and Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program.

Publications