Christine Wendt, MD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Christine Wendt

Contact Info

wendt005@umn.edu

Office Phone 612-624-0999

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

Administrative Assistant Name
Grace Bartholomet

Administrative Phone
612-467-4860

Administrative Email
grace.bartholet@va.gov

Administrative Fax Number
612-727-5634

Medical School, University of Minnesota

Residency, University of Minnesota (Internal Medicine)

Fellowship, University of Minnesota (Pulmonary and Critical Care)

Summary

Dr. Wendt has a long-standing interest in clinical and translational research in COPD, specifically focusing on biomarkers and pathways of disease. Dr. Wendt has participated on five large NIH COPD trials, three of which are ongoing and are a resource for developing trainees and junior faculty interested in clinical research. In addition, Dr. Wendt was recently the PI of a FAMRI award for a clinical trial related to the microbiome. This study provided a platform for a junior faculty (CDA awardee) to gain experience in clinical trials and to participate in the expansion to a multi-center trial. Dr. Wendt’s current translational work has focuses on biomarkers and causal pathways in COPD leading to lung cancer (VA Lung Precision Oncology Program) and HIV associated COPD (NIH R01). These translational projects combine multiple investigators with expertise in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, computational and systems biology. Dr. Wendt also participates in a VA Cooperative Study (SHADE) to determine the respiratory effects of particulate matter in deployed Veterans and has a VA Collaborative Merit Award to phenotype exposure related pulmonary disease in the SHADE cohort. Through all this work Dr. Wendt has fostered cross-discipline collaborations, creating mentoring and collaborative opportunities for trainees and junior faculty. Dr. Wendt has and continues to accumulate a substantial and successful mentoring record. Dr. Wendt has mentored 5 graduate students,11 fellows, 3 PhD post-doctoral fellows and 5 faculty. Most notably are Dr. Alexa Pragman, recipient of VA CDA and recent VA Merit Award (microbiome in COPD), Dr. Theresa Laguna, recipient of NIH R01 (microbiome in CF infants) and recently recruited as Division Director of Pulmonary, Northwestern University, Dr. Maneesh Bhargava, recipient of CTSI K award and NIH R01, Dr. Arianne Baldomero, recipient of CTSI KL2 Award, Dr. Dwight Stoll, Professor and Co-Chair of Chemistry at Gustavus University and Dr. Filippo Colleti, Aerospace Engineering, recipient of NIH R22 (structure-function in COPD) and promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Dr. Wendt also has extensive involvement with the American Thoracic Society (ATS) including chairing multiple assembly committees, which is a resource for networking and involvement for trainees and junior faculty.

Expertise

  • COPD translational research
  • Proteomics
  • Metabolomics
  • Biomarkers in COPD
  • Lung Cancer

Awards & Recognition

  • National Advisory Committee, National VA Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep, 2021
  • Fellow of the American Thoracic Society, 2019
  • iCARE Award, VA Affairs Central Office, Lung Cancer Screening National Implementation
  • Teacher of the Year Award, PACCS 2017
  • Mentor of the Year, UMN CTSI 2016
  • Network Star Award, VA VISN, Integrated Comprehensive Lung Cancer Care System
  • Top Doctor in MN 2009-2012
  • Section Chief Minneapolis VAMC 2010
  • Teacher of the Year, Department of Medicine, UMN 2009

Research

Research Summary/Interests

Research Interests

  • Biomarkers and pathways of disease in COPD, related to tobacco, HIV, air pollution, and lung cancer

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.

Publications

  1. Baldomero, AK, KM Kunisaki, J Connett, A Pilon, CH Wendt, Club Cell Secretory Protein (CCSP) is Reduced in Hospitalized Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Exacerbations. Int J COPD, 2020, 15:2461-2464, PMCID: PMC7553259, PMID 33116461
  2. Amundson WH, EJ Swanson, A Peterson, BJ Bell, C Hatt, CH Wendt. Quantification of Perinodular Emphysema in High-Risk Patients Offers No Benefit in Lung Nodule Risk-Stratification of Malignancy Potential. Journal of Thoracic Imaging. 2020. 35(2):108-114 
  3. Pragman. AA, KA Knutson, TJ Gould, RE Isaacson, CS Reilly, and CH Wendt. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Upper Airway Microbiota Alpha Diversity Is Associated With Exacerbation Phenotype: a Case-Control Observational Study. Respir Research 2019 Jun 7;20(1):114. PMID:31174538, PMCID:PMC6555967 
  4. Sandri, BJ, L Masvidal, C Murie, M Bartish, S Avdulov, L Higgins, T Markowski, M Peterson, J Bergh, P Yang, C Rolny, AH Limper, TJ Griffin, PB Bitterman, CH Wendt*, O Larsson*. Distinct cancer-promoting stromal gene expression depending on lung function. *equal contribution. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019 Aug 1;200(3):348-358.PMID: 30742544
  5. Baldomero, AK, M Siddiqui, CY Lo, A Petersen, AA Pragman, J Connett, KM Kunisaki, CH Wendt, The Relationship Between Oral Health and COPD Exacerbations. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2019 Apr 23;14:881-892.PMCID: PMC6497835, PMID: 31114185

Teaching

Academic Interests and Focus

Research mentoring KL2 and K to R scholars

Clinical

Board Certifications

Internal Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care

Clinical Interests

Clinical Interests COPD; Critical Care 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.

Hospital Privileges

Veterans Administration Hospital