Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Naftali Kaminski, MD

Professor of Medicine, Pathology, Human Genetics and Computational Biology
Director, Dorothy P. & Richard P. Simmons Center for ILD
Director, Lung, Blood and Vascular Center for Genomic Medicine
1212 Kaufmann Medical Building
3471 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-647-3156
Fax: 412-647-7875
Assistant: Mary Williams


Dr. Kaminski earned his medical degree at the Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Hadassah Mount-Scopus University Hospital in Jerusalem, and a pulmonary fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer, Israel. Dr. Kaminski completed also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Lung Biology Center at the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). During this period, he also trained in functional genomics and microarray technology at the Functional Genomics Laboratory at Roche Bioscience, Palo-Alto, California, where he pioneered the application of gene expression arrays to chronic lung disease.

Dr. Kaminski was the head of Functional Genomics at Sheba Medical Center before being recruited to head the Simmons Center at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. He has authored more than 85 papers, reviews and book chapters, is active on the American Thoracic Society and was the editor of “Gene Express”, a column on genomics at the American Thoracic Society Website as well as a member and chair of the International Program Committee of the Assembly on Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology of the American Thoracic Society.  Dr. Kaminski has a long time commitment to studying the basic molecular networks that underlie the lung phenotype in pulmonary fibrosis. He has pioneered the application of microarray technology to lung fibrosis and has applied this technology in a variety of models and disease states. He has also been actively involved in developing bioinformatic and computational approaches to data analysis and implementing “Systems Biology Approaches” in pulmonary medicine.

Clinical Interests

Dr Kaminski’s main clinical interests are interstitial lung diseases and especially idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Research Interests

Dr Kaminski’s research is currently focused on identifying new markers to improve diagnosis and outcome of IPF and on developing new therapeutic targets in the disease.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic progressive interstitial lung disease that is currently incurable. The main research interests of the Kaminski lab are the basic mechanisms underlying pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic lung disease and the way that molecular networks determine tissue and cellular phenotype. To study these mechanisms Dr. Kaminski applies a systems biology approach that incorporates a combination of traditional molecular biology methods, high-throughput genomic technologies such as expression and location microarrays, advanced bioinformatic approaches and targeted proteomic approaches. As a result of these studies he hasidentified key regulatory molecules as well as potential biomarkers that he is currently studying. Specific research projects include:

Basic mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases

- High throughput analysis of promoter binding by lung disease relevant transcription factors (ChIP on chip).
- Understanding and identifying the genetic and molecular networks that determine the lung phenotype using high throughput genomic and proteomic technologies.
- Role of miRNA in advanced lung disease (IPF, Emphysema).
- Epigenomics of chronic lung disease.
- Using computational approaches to Integrate clinical, biological, genomic and proteomic data to identify new molecular phenotypes of disease.

New molecular targets in Pulmonary Fibrosis
-The role of developmental pathways in lung injury and repair.
-The role and regulation of matrix metaloproteases (MMP7, MMP19)  in human pulmonary fibrosis.
-The role and regulation of microRNAs (let-7, mir-30, mir-154 families) in human pulmonary fibrosis.

Biomarker Discovery and Validation  in chronic and progressive lung disease
-The use of gene expression patterns in peripheral blood mononuclear cells to diagnose and predict outcome in pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer and acute and chronic lung transplant rejection
-The use of targeted mini proteomic approaches to identify peripheral markers for chronic advanced lung diseases.

The plasma protein signature of IPF

The plasma protein signature of IPF

A heatmap of 49 proteins in the blood of patients with IPF and controls (yellow – increased, purple – decreased). One protein (RAGE) is significantly decreased and 10 are increased, 5 of them were sufficient to distinguish patients with IPF from control with a sensitivity of 96.3% and specificity of 87.2%. Rosas et al., PLoS Med. 2008 Apr 29;5(4):e98

Network Analysis

Network analysis of genes changed in IPF compared to control highlights central regulatory role for TGFb1

Key Publications

Rosas, IO, Richards, TJ, Konishi K,  Zhang Y, Gibson, K, Lokshin AE, Lindell, KO, Cisneros, J, MacDonald, S, Pardo, A, Sciurba F, Dauber, J, Selman, M, Gochuico BR, Kaminski N.  MMP1 and MMP7 as Potential Peripheral Blood Biomarkers in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, 2008 PLoS Med  5(4):e93.

Novershtern N, Itzhaki Z, Manor O, Friedman N, Kaminski N. A Functional and regulatory map of asthma.  Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2008 Mar:38(3) 324-36.

Selman, M, Pardo A, Barerra L, Estrada A, Watson SR, Wilson K, Aziz N, Kaminski N*, Zlotnik A*.  Gene expression profiles distinguish Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis from Hypersensivity Pneumonitis.    Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2006;Vol 173(2):188-198.

Zuo F*, Kaminski N*, Eugui E, Allard J, Yakhini Z, Ben-Dor A, Lollini L,  Morris D, Kim Y, DeLustro B, Sheppard D, Pardo A, Selman M,. Heller RA. Gene expression analysis reveals matrilysin as a key regulator of pulmonary fibrosis in mice and humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci  USA 2002; 99: 6292-6297.
*Both authors contributed equally to the paper

Pubmed link

Meet Dr. Kaminski

A video of Dr. Kaminski is available here.


The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis awards Dr. Kaminski the Marvin I. Schwarz Research Award.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review recognizes Dr. Kaminski.

Dr. Kaminski's funding success has been recently highlighted in Nature.

Dr. Kaminski's work has been highlighted in the Jerusalem Post.

Dr. Kaminki's biomarker research has been reported on and on Eureka Alert.

The warm autopsy program has been described by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.