Christine Wendt, MD

Professor of Medicine,

Christine Wendt

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-624-0999

Mailing Address:
Minneapolis VA Health Care System
One Veterans Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Administrative Phone

Administrative Fax Number

Professor of Medicine

Section Head, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Director, O'Brien Bio-Bank

Preceptor, Medical Scientist Training Program (Combined MD/PhD Training Program)

Faculty, PhD Program in Integrative Biology and Physiology

Pulmonologist and Critical Care Physician; Director, Endoscopy and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Medical School, University of Minnesota

Residency, University of Minnesota (Internal Medicine)

Fellowship, University of Minnesota (Pulmonary and Critical Care)


Awards & Recognition

  • Best Doctors in America®, 2011-2012.


Research Summary/Interests

Translational Research

Our research program uses state-of-the-art proteomics to identify protein biomarkers and study mechanisms of disease in advanced lung diseases. These biomarkers can serve as diagnostic tools in the early detection of disease, tools to monitor disease progression or as links to understanding the mechanism of disease. Our area of study has focused on two major diseases: COPD and allograft rejection in lung transplant recipients. Currently there are no biomarkers that accurately predict who will get COPD or allograft rejection. In addition, the mechanism of disease for these conditions remains undefined. The University of Minnesota has a record of excellence in the study and research of COPD and lung transplantation.

As the home of the NIH-funded Lung Health Study and other clinical trials in COPD, we have been granted access to a wealth of patient specimens and data.

The University of Minnesota has been a leader in lung transplantation for over 20 years and is the home of the O’Brien Biobank (Dr. Wendt, Director), which holds patient specimens and information.

The Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics at the University of Minnesota (Dr. Gary Nelsestuen, Director) is a leader in the field and a close collaborator on these studies.

This combination of a wealth of specimens and expertise at the University of MN has been the backbone of our research. My research currently focuses on:

Allograft rejection in lung transplantation: We have identified several potential biomarkers of chronic allograft rejection in lung transplantation using cohort analysis followed by ongoing prospective validation. Additional biomarkers are being identified using complementary proteomic tools and are being correlated to disease outcomes.

Animal models of allograft rejection: We are using animal models of allograft rejection (tracheal heterotopic transplant and bone marrow transplant) to identify mechanistic roles of the biomarkers identified using proteomic tools.

COPD: To date, there are no biomarkers that identify the 15-20% of smokers that are at risk of developing COPD. With the combination of biological samples and a wealth of clinical information from the LHS we are searching for biomarkers of COPD. Similarly, biomarkers identified will then be studied in animal models to identify potential mechanisms of disease.

Overall, our investigations feature a dynamic collaborative network of biochemists, lung biologists and biostatisticians.

Research Funding Grants

Current Grant Support

2007-2012 RO1: NHLBI-HL80041-01A2 (Wendt-PI) “Protein Biomarkers in Lung Allograft Rejection”

Identify protein biomarkers of chronic lung allograft rejection using state-of-the-art proteomics.

2007-2009 U01: Nat'l Jewish Medical & Research Ctr (NHLBI)HL089897
"Genetic Epidemiology of COPD"
Co-PI (PI=Dennis Niewoehner)

Recent Grant Support

2003-2008 RFP:NHLBI- (Connett-PI, DCC, Wendt –Co-Investigator) “COPD Clinical Network”, Clinical Coordinating Center

The major goal of the network is to do short-term trials in patients with emphysema to improve outcomes from exacerbations of their disease. The University of Minnesota is the Data Coordinating Center.

2003-2008 NIH R01 (Wendt-PI) “NA, K-ATPase Regulation by Glucocorticoids in the Lung”

The main objective of this proposal is to study the in vitro gene regulation of the Na,K-ATPase during lung development by glucocorticoid and to identify regulatory elements.


(For a comprehensive listing of Dr. Wendt's recent publications refer to PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine)

  • Zhang Y, Wroblewski M, Hertz MI, Wendt CH, Cervenka TM, Nelsestuen GL. Analysis of chronic lung transplant rejection by MALDI-TOF profiles of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Proteomics. 2006:6:1001-1010.
  • Roth M, Connett J, et al Feasibility of retinoids for the treatment of emphysema (FORTE) study. Chest 2006; 130(5):1334-45.
  • Lei J, Wendt CH, Mariash CN, Ingbar DH. Developmental acquisition of T3-sensitive Na-K-ATPase stimulation by rat alveolar epithelial cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2007; 292(1):L6-14.
  • Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Tram KV, Price AP, Wendt CH, Blazar BR. A new murine model for bronchiolitis obliterans post-bone marrow transplant. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2007; 176(7):713-23.
  • Hecht A, Ma S, Porszasz J, Casaburi R; COPD Clinical Research Network (inc. C Wendt). Methodology for using long-term accelerometry monitoring to describe daily activity patterns in COPD. COPD. 2009; 6(2):121-9.
  • D'Armiento JM, Scharf SM, Roth MD, Connett JE, Ghio A, Sternberg D, Goldin JG, Louis TA, Mao JT, O'Connor GT, Ramsdell JW, Ries AL, Schluger NW, Sciurba FC, Skeans MA, Voelker H, Walter RE, Wendt CH, Weinmann GG, Wise RA, Foronjy RF. Eosinophil and T cell markers predict functional decline in COPD patients. Respir Res. 2009;10:113. PMCID: PMC2785783
  • Zhang Y, Nelsestuen GL, Wendt CH, Hertz MI, Wu B. Early detection of lung transplant chronic rejection using regression model and BALF MALDI-TOF protein profiles. 2008, Submitted to Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.
  • Blumenthal MN, Zhong W, Miller M, Wendt C, Connett JE, Pei D. Serum etalloproteinase leukolysin (MMP-25/MT-6): a potential metabolic marker for atopy-associated inflammation. Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Jun;40(6):859-66 . Epub 2010 Mar 12


Board Certifications

Internal Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care

Clinical Interests

Clinic Focus My major clinical focus has been on advanced therapies for emphysema. I am the Co-Director of the Lung Volume Reduction Surgery Program and I am currently participating on the NIH COPD Clinical Research Network. The University of Minnesota has been designated the clinical coordinating center for this network. COPD; Emphysema; Pre-lung transplantation; Lung volume reduction surgery

Hospital Privileges

Veterans Administration Hospital