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Kirk M. Druey, M.D.
Building 10, Room 11N242
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-1881
Phone: 301-435-8875
Fax: 301-480-8384

Laboratory of Allergic Diseases

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Kirk M. Druey, M.D.

Kirk M. Druey

Chief, Molecular Signal Transduction Section

Major Areas of Research

  • Basic signaling mechanisms of G-protein-coupled receptors
  • Leukocyte trafficking in allergic inflammation
  • GPCR-induced bronchial contraction/relaxation
  • The systemic capillary leak syndrome

Program Description

The primary focus of our laboratory is to understand the signaling pathways evoked by G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and the role of specific gene protein pathways in the pathogenesis of asthma and other allergic diseases. Although therapeutic agents targeting GPCRs have long been used to treat asthma and allergies, much remains unknown about how their signaling cascades drive the immune system. Our section focuses on the role of a family of inhibitory proteins known as regulators of G protein signaling (RGS). Our goals are to understand specific GPCRs, G proteins, and RGS proteins that mediate three distinct but overlapping processes: 1) migration of leukocytes to inflammatory sites; 2) bronchial smooth muscle contraction and relaxation; and 3) vascular permeability. We use mouse models of skin and pulmonary inflammation as well as clinical studies. Of particular interest is a rare and highly unusual disorder, the systemic capillary leak syndrome. This disease is characterized by reversible episodes of hypovolemia, hypotensive shock, and ansarca, which are thought to be a result of transient endothelial hyperpermeability.


Dr. Druey obtained his M.D. from Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois. In 1992, following a residency in internal medicine at The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Druey became a postdoctoral fellow in the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation. He joined the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases in 1997 to become chief of the Molecular Signal Transduction Section (MSTS).

Research Group

photo of reserch group members

Zhihui (Sherry) Xie, Ph.D., Staff Scientist
Tolga Barker, Ph.D. , Postdoctoral Fellow
Nariman Balenga, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Sucharita Shankar, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Shoko Iwaki, M.D., Ph.D., Biologist

Selected Publications

Yang Z, Cooper PR, Damera G, Mukhopadhyay I, Cho H, Kehrl JH, Panettieri RA Jr, Druey KM. Beta-agonist-associated reduction in RGS5 expression promotes airway smooth muscle hyper-responsivenessJ Biol Chem. 2011 Apr 1;286(13):11444-55.

Druey KM, Greipp PR. Narrative review: the systemic capillary leak syndromeAnn Intern Med. 2010 Jul 20;153(2):90-8.

Bansal G, DiVietro JA, Kuehn HS, Rao S, Nocka KH, Gilfillan AM, Druey KM. RGS13 controls G-protein-coupled receptor-evoked responses of human mast cells. J Immunol. 2008 Dec 1;181(11):7882-90.

Xie Z, Geiger TR, Johnson EN, Nyborg JK, Druey KM. RGS13 acts as a nuclear repressor of CREBMol Cell. 2008 Sep 5;31(5):660-70.

Bansal G, Xie Z, Rao S, Nocka KH, Druey KM. Suppression of immunoglobulin E-mediated allergic responses by regulator of G protein signaling 13. Nat Immunol. 2008 Jan;9(1):73-80.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

Last Updated September 28, 2012