Mallar Bhattacharya, MD

Associate Professor In Res
Research Overview: 

In the Bhattacharya Lab, we are working to understand the bidirectional signals between macrophages and fibroblasts that determine pathologic outcomes in acute and chronic lung inflammation. Cell-cell circuits established during development maintain the lung’s homeostatic function in health and involve resident macrophages and multiple parenchymal cell types, including mesenchymal, epithelial, and endothelial lineages. These interactions are profoundly perturbed by environmental toxins and infections, which trigger immune cell recruitment and activation of parenchymal cells leading to life-threatening clinical syndromes such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The Bhattacharya lab has developed genetic, biochemical, and computational techniques to interrogate the functional effect of pathologic signaling between immune and parenchymal cells, with a focus on monocyte-derived macrophages and lung fibroblasts. It is now clear that fibroblasts in pathologic states represent a diversity of phenotypes, from inflammatory to pro-fibrotic subsets. How signals from recruited macrophages regulate both this diversity and fibroblast-driven pathologic outcomes is unknown and represents an exciting path for the development of novel therapeutics.

The major research goals of our laboratory are:

  1. To define the major networks driving macrophage-fibroblast interactions in lung injury, the fibroproliferative response, and recovery;
  2. To test the effect of baseline systemic perturbations, including aging and preceding chronic inflammation, on macrophage-fibroblast crosstalk after injury;
  3. To identify therapeutic targets stemming from decoding bidirectional immune-parenchymal circuits.

In addition to conducting cutting-edge research, the Bhattacharya Lab places a strong emphasis on mentorship and professional development for its trainees. Through regular one-on-one meetings and a supportive lab culture, students are provided with opportunities to grow and develop as scientists.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Tissue / Organ Biology & Endocrinology
Research Summary: 
The Bhattacharya Laboratory studies the effect of macrophages on fibroblast activation during the fibrotic phase of tissue injury, with a focus on lung fibrosis.


Featured Publications: 

Insights from Transcriptomics: CD163+ Profibrotic Lung Macrophages in COVID-19.

American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology

Bhattacharya M

Macrophage Cx43 Is Necessary for Fibroblast Cytosolic Calcium and Lung Fibrosis After Injury.

Frontiers in immunology

Bhattacharyya A, Torre P, Yadav P, Boostanpour K, Chen TY, Tsukui T, Sheppard D, Muramatsu R, Seed RI, Nishimura SL, Jung JB, Tang XZ, Allen CDC, Bhattacharya M

IL10 trains macrophage profibrotic function after lung injury.

American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology

Bhattacharyya A, Boostanpour K, Bouzidi M, Magee L, Chen TY, Wolters R, Torre P, Pillai SK, Bhattacharya M

Molecular programs of fibrotic change in aging human lung.

Nature communications

Lee S, Islam MN, Boostanpour K, Aran D, Jin G, Christenson S, Matthay MA, Eckalbar WL, DePianto DJ, Arron JR, Magee L, Bhattacharya S, Matsumoto R, Kubota M, Farber DL, Bhattacharya J, Wolters PJ, Bhattacharya M

Reference-based analysis of lung single-cell sequencing reveals a transitional profibrotic macrophage.

Nature immunology

Aran D, Looney AP, Liu L, Wu E, Fong V, Hsu A, Chak S, Naikawadi RP, Wolters PJ, Abate AR, Butte AJ, Bhattacharya M