for people ages 40-75 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Mehrdad Arjomandi, MD
Headshot of Mehrdad Arjomandi
Mehrdad Arjomandi



Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous disease that affects only a fraction of those who smoke tobacco. The origin of this variability in susceptibility to develop COPD is unclear, but understanding its underlying biology has important implications for our ability to design suitable preventative and therapeutic strategies for its management. This Department of Defense (DOD) discovery research proposes to develop methodologies and generate preliminary data needed to lay the foundation for a large study that would investigate the underlying biological susceptibility of those who smoke tobacco to develop COPD.


This is a pilot observational study of 20 subjects ≥40 years of age with smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (former or current) who have preserved spirometry, as defined by normal Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV1) / Forced Vital Capacity (FVC). Of the 20 subjects, 10 with and 10 without air trapping as determined by high and abnormal versus low and normal Residual Volume (RV) / Total Lung Capacity (TLC) measured by plethysmography. The cohort will undergo extensive clinical characterization including full Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT) and medical, symptom, activity, and quality of life questionnaires assessment including modified Medical Council Research (mMRC), COPD Assessment Test (CAT), Short Form-12 (SF12), and St. George's Respiratory (SGRQ) questionnaires. Subjects will undergo bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) to obtain luminal macrophages and BAL fluid (BALF). Live BAL cells, BALF, and BAL cell RNA will be collected and stored in our biorepository for proposed studies. Molecular, functional, and transcriptomics analyses of luminal (alveolar) macrophages obtained by BAL (Aim 2) and protease activity measurement in serum and BALF will be performed (Aim 2) and will be examined against the clinical phenotype of the subjects, in particular air trapping-phenotype, to see if an underlying biological signature for susceptibility to develop COPD could be identified.

To perform a more comprehensive molecular and functional phenotype examination of lung macrophages, additional methodologies will be developed including a second mass cytometry (CyTOF) panel for single-cell proteomics and CyTOF-based phagocytosis and efferocytosis assays to allow for performance of truly single-cell functional phenotyping of myeloid cells from BAL and lung tissue (Aim 1).


Copd, Smoking, Tobacco Use, Obstructive Lung Diseases, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Albuterol, Dimercaprol, Bronchoscopy with Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL)


You can join if…

Open to people ages 40-75

  • Ages between 40 to 75 years old.
  • History of at least 20 pack-years of smoking.
  • No diagnosis of COPD or asthma.
  • No spirometric evidence of airflow obstruction as determined by FEV1/FVC ratio ≥0.7.
  • FEV1 and FVC >lower limit of normal.
  • Less than 1 pack-year history of tobacco smoking and no tobacco use within the past 12 months.
  • Subjects will be divided into two groups by their RV/TLC:

    Normal RV/TLC Group: • Plethysmographic RV/TLC equal or less than lower limit of normal. Abnormal RV/TLC Group: • Plethysmographic RV/TLC higher than lower limit of normal.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Any history of IV drug use or inhalation of recreational drugs other than marijuana: A- within the past 20 years. B- more than 100 times IV drug usage. C- longer than 1 year usage.
  • Marijuana use >400 joints in lifetime or any within past 6 months.
  • Inability to walk briskly, run on treadmill, or pedal on ergometer to perform the study-required exercise level.
  • Pregnant/breast feeding.
  • Serious and active heart conditions- defined by stable or unstable angina, recent myocardial infarction (within the last 2 years), active congestive heart failure, ischemic cardiomyopathy.
  • Liver cirrhosis.
  • History of chronic active Hepatitis B or C.


  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center in progress, not accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94110 United States
  • San Francisco VA Medical Center accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94121 United States
  • UCSF in progress, not accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94122 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Mehrdad Arjomandi, MD
    Dr. Arjomandi grew up in Ahvaz, a small city in Southwestern Iran, and moved to the United States in 1986 in the aftermath of Iranian revolution (1979), Iraq's invasion of Iran (1980-88), and his family displacement inside Iran (1980-83).


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Expecting 40 study participants
Last Updated