Astrid’s research focuses on alveoli, the sites of gas exchange in the lung. Using genetic, transcriptomic and single-cell approaches, her lab explores how alveolar cells become altered due to aging and age-related diseases. By precisely controlling and manipulating cell behaviors, interactions and functions, she hopes to find ways to prevent or reverse these changes and associated disease pathologies in order to restore gas exchange.
Prior to Calico, Astrid was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Mark Krasnow at Stanford University where she defined the three-dimensional cellular structure of alveoli and discovered a novel mechanism of alveolar formation. Her research demonstrated that the alveolar capillary endothelium is made up of two intermingled cell types with distinct structures and functions — expansive aerocytes that are specialized for gas exchange, and general capillary cells that function as progenitors in alveolar capillary maintenance and repair.