null John Hanrahan, PhD

Associate Investigator, RI-MUHC

Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program

Professor, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University



airway epithelia • CFTR • cystic fibrosis • COPD • COVID-19 • drug development

Research Focus

We examine the epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract. The goal is to understand how salt and water are transported and how they are altered in cystic fibrosis (CF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The main focus is ion channels, especially CFTR, the chloride and bicarbonate channel that is mutated in CF. Lately we have become interested in mechanisms of innate immunity and how the epithelial cells defend against infection by bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and viruses (SARS-CoV-2). We are also engaged in the preclinical development of candidate drugs that target CFTR and SARS-CoV-2.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Kim D, Liao J, Scales NB, Martini C, Luan X, Abu-Arish A, Robert R, Luo Y, McKay GA, Nguyen D, Tewfik MA, Poirier CD, Matouk E, Ianowski JP, Frenkiel S, Hanrahan JW. 2021. Large pH oscillations promote host defense against human airways infection. J Exp Med. 218(4):e20201831. doi: 10.1084/jem.20201831. PMID: 33533914.

  • Turner MJ, Sato Y, Thomas DY, Abbott-Banner K, Hanrahan JW. 2021. Phosphodiesterase 8A Regulates CFTR Activity in Airway Epithelial Cells. Cell Physiol Biochem. 55(6):784-804. doi: 10.33594/000000477. PMID: 34936285.

  • Sato Y, Mustafina KR, Luo Y, Martini C, Thomas DY, Wiseman PW, Hanrahan JW. 2021. Nonspecific binding of common anti-CFTR antibodies in ciliated cells of human airway epithelium. Sci Rep. 11(1):23256. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-02420-x. PMID: 34853321.

  • Turner MJ, Dauletbaev N, Lands LC, Hanrahan JW. 2020. The Phosphodiesterase Inhibitor Ensifentrine Reduces Production of Proinflammatory Mediators in Well Differentiated Bronchial Epithelial Cells by Inhibiting PDE4. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 375(3):414-429. doi: 10.1124/jpet.120.000080. PMID: 33012706.

  • Abu-Arish A, Pandžic E, Kim D, Tseng HW, Wiseman PM, Hanrahan JW. (2019). Agonists that stimulate secretion promote CFTR recruitment into membrane lipid microdomains. J. Gen Physiol. 151(6):834-849.doi: 10.1085/jgp.201812143. PMID: 31048413.