Kirk Druey, M.D.

Kirk Druey, M.D.

Chief, Molecular Signal Transduction Section

Major Areas of Research

  • Signaling mechanisms of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs)
  • Role of airway smooth muscle abnormalities in asthma
  • ​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 the dysregulated GPCR signaling in the pathogenesis of asthma and allergic disease. Although therapeutic agents targeting GPCRs have long been used to treat asthma and allergies, much remains unknown regarding pathomechanisms associated with their downstream signaling pathways. Our goals are to identify specific genetic and molecular abnormalities involved in two distinct processes: 1) airway contraction and relaxation and 2) vascular permeability. Our studies of asthma utilize mouse models of allergen-induced airway inflammation, which have uncovered novel therapeutic targets for specific asthma endotypes. The second area of focus is a rare and highly unusual disorder, the Systemic Capillary Leak Syndrome. This disease is characterized by reversible episodes of hypovolemia, hypotensive shock, and anasarca, which are thought to be a result of transient endothelial hyper-permeability.


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 Cent​er, 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.

Research Group

Zhihui (Sherry) Xie, Ph.D., Staff Scientist
Eunice C. Chan, Ph.D.
Tolga Barker, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Reem Hakeem, B.S.
Laura Madigan, B.S.
Lauren M. Long, R.N., B.S.N.

Selected Publications

Hsu P, Xie Z, Wisch L, Nelson C, Young M, Frith K, Williams G, Wainstein B, Jacobe S, Wong M, Sharma HP, Jamieson IC, Kakakios A, Stone KD, Druey KM. Idiopathic Systemic Capillary Leak Syndrome in children. Pediatrics. 2015. In press. 

Xie Z, Chan EC, Long LM, Nelson C, Druey KM. Genome-wide SNP analysis of the Systemic Capillary Leak Syndrome (Clarkson disease). Am J Med. 2015 Jan;128(1):91-5.

Balenga NA, Jester W, Jiang M, Panettieri RA Jr, Druey KM. Loss of regulator of G protein signaling 5 promotes airway hyperresponsiveness in the absence of allergic inflammation. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Aug;134(2):451-9.

Xie Z, Ghosh CC, Patel R, Iwaki S, Gaskins D, Nelson C, Jones N, Greipp PR, Parikh SM, Druey KM. Vascular endothelial hyperpermeability induces the clinical symptoms of Clarkson disease (the systemic capillary leak syndrome). Blood. 2012 May 3;119(18):4321-32.

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