Serpil C. Erzurum,  MD

Serpil C. Erzurum, MD

Chief Research & Academic Officer, Cleveland Clinic

Chair, Lerner Research Institute

Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195


Our laboratory studies the mechanisms that initiate and perpetuate lung inflammation and remodeling, and ultimately lead to lung diseases such as asthma and pulmonary vascular disease. Studies aim to uncover the mechanisms that cause abnormalities in redox balance, signal transduction and/or accelerate arginine metabolism and impact nitric oxide (NO) production. The findings are all being applied to development of diagnostics and therapeutics for patient care.

About Serpil Erzurum, MD

Serpil Erzurum, MD, was named Chief Research and Academic Officer of Cleveland Clinic in 2020, representing an expansion of her prior role as Chair of the Lerner Research Institute, which she held since 2016. In her new role, Dr. Erzurum focuses on strategic growth of enterprise-wide medical and scientific education programs; clinical, basic and translational research; and technology development to deliver the most innovative care to patients.

A practicing pulmonologist and active scientist, Dr. Erzurum holds the Alfred Lerner Memorial Chair in Innovative Biomedical Research. Her scientific contributions and leadership in pulmonary research have led to diagnostic and therapeutic advances in lung diseases and helped to identify human physiologic adaptive responses to high-altitude hypoxia. She has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and has been the principal investigator on more than 20 federal grants, including multi-investigator program project grants and network trials. She is also a Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Erzurum has earned numerous awards, including the prestigious MERIT award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), andAssociation of American Physicians (AAP), where she served as president from 2017-2018. She has also served as chair of the Pulmonary Disease Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). Because of her work in advancing the careers of women in medicine and science, Dr. Erzurum was honored with the Elizabeth Rich Award from the American Thoracic Society.

Dr. Erzurum earned her medical degree from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and completed residency training in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. She completed fellowship training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and postdoctoral training at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.  

See publications for Serpil Erzurum, MD on PubMed

Select Publications

  1. Comhair SA, Erzurum SC. Redox control of asthma: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities. ANTIOXID REDOX SIGNAL. 2010; 12(1):93-124. PMCID: PMC2824520.
  2. Asosingh K, Hanson JD, Cheng G, Aronica MA, Erzurum SC. Allergen-induced, eotaxin-rich, proangiogenic bone marrow progenitors: a blood-borne cellular envoy for lung eosinophilia. J ALLERGY CLIN IMMUNOL. 2010 Apr; 125(4):918-25. PMCID: PMC2850950
  3. Dweik RA, Sorkness RL, Wenzel S, Hammel J, Curran-Everett D, Comhair SA, Bleecker E, Busse W, Calhoun WJ, Castro M, Chung KF, Israel E, Jarjour N, Moore W, Peters S, Teague G, Gaston B, Erzurum SC. Use of Exhaled Nitric Oxide Measurement to Identify a Reactive At-risk Phenotype Among Pateints with Asthma. AM J RESPIR CRIT CARE MED. 2010 May 15; 181(10):1033-41. PMCID: PMC2874447
  4. Fijalkowska I, Xu W, Comhair SA, Janocha AJ, Mavrakis LA, Krishnamachary B, Zhen L, Mao T, Richter A, Erzurum SC, Tuder RM. Hypoxia inducible-factor 1 alpha regulates the metabolic shift of pulmonary hypertensive endothelial cells. AM J PATHOL. 2010 Mar; 176(3):1130-8. PMCID: PMC2832136
  5. Comhair SAA, Ricci K, Hammel J, Wang Z, Dweik RA, Gaston B, Teague WG, Bleecker ER, Busse WW, Calhoun WJ, Castro M, Chung KF, Curran-Everett D, Israel E, Jarjour N, Moore W, Peters SP, Wenzel S, Hazen SL, Erzurum SC for the National Heart Lung Blood Institute Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP). Detrimental Effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Relation to Asthma Severity. PLoS ONE. 2011 May 4; 6(5):e18574. PMCID: PMC308771
  6. GhoshS, Erzurum SC. Nitric Oxide Metabolism in Asthma Pathophysiology. BIOCHEMICA PIOPHYSICA ACTA. 2011; 1810(11):1008-16. PMCID: PMC3200501
  7. Farha S, AsosinghK, XuW, SharpJ, GeorgeD, ComhairS, ParkM, TangWH, LoydJE, TheilK, Tubbs R, HsiE, LichtinA, Erzurum SC. Hypoxia Inducible Factors in Human Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: A Link to the Intrinsic Myeloid Abnormalities. BLOOD. 2011 117: 3485-3493. PMCID: PMC3072874
  8. Janocha AJ, Koch C, Tiso M, Ponchia A, Doctor A, Gibbons L, Gaston BM, Beall CM, Erzurum SC. Nitric Oxide during altitude Acclimatization. N ENGL J MED. 2011 Nov 17; 365(20):1942-4. PMCID: PMC3596889
  9. Szefler SJ, Wenzel S, Brown R, Erzurum SC, Fahy JV, Hamilton RG, Hunt JF, Liu AU, Panettieri RA, Schleimer RP, Minnicozzi M. Asthma Outcomes: Biomarkers. J ALLERGY CLIN IMMUNOL. 2012; 129(3 Suppl):S9-S23. PMCID: PMC3390196
  10. Beall CM, Laskowski D, Erzurum SC. Nitric Oxide in adaptation to altitude. FREE RADIC BIOL MED. 2012; 52(7):1123-34. PMCID: PMC3295887
  11. Erzurum SC, Gaston BM. Biomarkers in asthma: a real hope to better manage asthma. CLIN CHEST MED. 2012; 33(3):459-71. PMCID: PMC3494969
  12. Comhair SA, Xu W, Mavrakis L, ALdred MA, Asosingh K, Erzurum SC. Human Primary Lung Endothelial Cells in Culture. AM J RESPIR CELL MOL BIOL. 2012; 46(6):723-30. PMCID: PMC3380284
  13. Farha S, Sharp J, Asosingh K, Park M, Comhair SA, Tang WH, Thomas J, Farver C, Hsieh F, Loyd JE, Erzurum SC. Mast cell number, phenotype, and function in human pulmonary arterial hypertension. PULMONARY CIRCULATION. 2012 Apr-Jun; 2(2):220-8. PMCID:PMC3401876
  14. DiFilippo FP, Patel S, Asosingh K, Erzurum SC. Small-animal imaging using clinical positron emission tomography/computed tomography and super-resolution. MOL IMAGING. 2012; 11(3): 210-9. PMCID: PMC3694434
  15. Asosingh K, Farha S, Lichtin A, Graham B, George D, Aldred M, Hazen SL, Loyd J, Tuder R, Erzurum SC. Pulmonary vascular disease in mice xenografted with human BM proenitors from patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. BLOOD. 2012 Aug 9; 120(6):1218-27. [selected as top research discovery by NHLBI in 2012] PMCID: PMC3418717
  16. Farha S, Lundgrin EL, Erzurum SC. Novel Therapeutic Approaches to preserve the right ventricle. CURR HEART FAIL REP. 2013; 10(1):12-7. PMCID: PMC3575635
  17. Ghosh S, Willard B, Comhair SA, Dibello P, Xu W, Shiva S, Aulak KS, Kinter M, Erzurum SC. Disulfide bond as a switch for copper-zinc superoxide dismutase activity in asthma. ANTIOXID REDOX SIGNAL. 2013; 18(4):412-23. PMCID: PMC3526896
  18. Farha S, Laskowski D, George D, Park M, Wilson Tang WH, Dweik R, Erzurum SC.  Loss of alveolar membrane diffusing capacity and pulmonary capillary blood volume in pulmonary arterial hypertension.  RESP RES. 2013 14:6. PMCID: PMC3560152.
  19. Lundgrin EL, Park MM, Sharp J, Tang WH, Thomas JD, Asosingh K, Comhair SA, DiFilippo FP, Neumann DR, Davis L, Graham BB, Tuder RM, Dostanic I, Erzurum SC. Fasting 2-deoxy-2-[18]fluoro-D-glucose positron emission tomography to detect metabolic changes in pulmonary arterial hypertension hearts over 1 year.  ANN AM THORAC SOC. 2013; 10(1):1-9. PMCID: PMC3960991
  20. Asosingh K, Cheng G, Xu W, Savasky BM, Aronica MA, Li X, Erzurum SC. Nascent endothelium initiates TH2 polarization of asthma. J IMMUNOL. 2013 Apr 1; 190(7): 3458-65. PMCID: PMC3608697
  21. Xu W, Janocha AJ, Leahy RA, Klatte R, Dudzinski D, Mavrakis LA, Comhair SA, Lauer ME, Cotton CU, Erzurum SC. A novel method for pulmonary research: Assessment of bioenergetic function at the air-liquid interface. REDOX BIOL. 2014 Jan 16;2:513-9. eCollection 2014. PMCID: PMC3949089
  22. Ratanamaneechat S, Neumann DR, Difilippo FP, Comhair SA, Asosingh K, Ghosh S, Grandon D, Khan A, Aronica MA, Erzurum SC. Redox imaging of inflammation in asthma. AM J RESPIR CRIT CARE MED. 2014 Mar 15;189(6):743-6. PMCID: PMC3983839
  23. Busse WW, Erzurum SC, Blaisdell CJ, Noel P. Executive summary: NHLBI workshop on the primary prevention of chronic lung diseases. ANN AM THORAC SOC. 2014 Apr; 11 Suppl 3:S123-4. PMCID: PMC4293737
  24. Sharp J, Farha S, Park MM, Comhair SA, Lundgrin EL, Tang WH, Bongard RD, Merker MP, Erzurum SC. Coenzyme Q wupplementation in pulmonary arterial hypertesnion. REDOX BIOL. 2014 Jul 31; 2:884-91. PMCID: PMC4143816
  25. Tuder RM, Archer SL, Dorfmüller P, Erzurum SC, Guignabert C, Michelakis E, Rabinovitch M, Schermuly R, Stenmark KR, Morrell NW.  [Relevant issues in the pathology and pathobiology of pulmonary hypertension]. TURK KARDIYOL DERN ARS. 2014 Oct;42 Suppl 1:5-16.
  26. Kao CC, Wedes SH, Hsu JW, Bohren KM, Comhair SA, Jahoor F, Erzurum SC. Arginine metabolic endotypes in pulmonary arterial hypertension. PULM CIRC. 2015 Mar; 5(1):124-34. PMCID: PMC4405713
  27. Comhair SA, Grandon D, Khan A, Zhang R, Hazen SL, Erzurum SC. Coenzyme Q in asthma. AM J RESPIR CRIT CARE MED. 2015 Jun 1; 191(11):1336-8. PMCID: PMC4476517
  28. Zein JG, Erzurum SC. Asthma is Different in Women.  CURR ALLERGY ASTHMA REP. 2015 Jun; 15(6):28. PMCID: PMC4572514
  29. Comhair SA, McDunn J, Bennett C, Fettig J, Erzurum SC, Kalhan SC. Metabolomic Endotype of Asthma. J IMMUNOL. 2015 Jul 15; 195(2):643-50.  PMCID: PMC4490949
  30. Zein JG, Dweik RA, Comhair SA, Bleecker ER, Moore WC, Peters SP, Busse WW, Jarjour NN, Calhoun WJ, Castro M, Chung KF, Fitzpatrick A, Israel E, Teague WG, Wenzel SE, Love TE, Gaston BM, Erzurum SC; Severe Asthma Research Program. Asthma Is More Severe in Older Adults. PLOS ONE. 2015 Jul 22; 10(7):e0133490. PMCID: PMC4511639
  31. Asosingh K, Vasanji A, Tipton A, Queisser K, Wanner N, Janocha A, Grandon D, Anand-Apte B, Rothenberg ME, Dweik R, Erzurum SC. Eotaxin-Rich Proangiogenic Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells and CCR3+ Endothelium in the Atopic Asthmatic Response. J IMMUNOL. 2016 Jan 25. pii: 1500770. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26810221
  32. Zein JG, Udeh BL, Teague WG, Koroukian SM, Schlitz NK, Bleecker ER, Busse WB, Calhoun WJ, Castro M, Comhair SA, Fitzpatrick AM, Israel E, Wenzel SE, Holguin F, Gaston BM, Erzurum SC; Severe Asthma Research Program. Impact of Age and Sex on Outcomes and Hospital Cost of Acute Asthma in the United States, 2011-2012
  33. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 13;11(6):e0157301. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157301.eCollection 2016.PMID: 27294365
  34. Xu W, Ghosh S, Comhair SA, Asosingh K, Janocha AJ, Mavrakis DA, Bennett CD, Gruca LL, Graham BB, Queisser KA, Kao CC, Wedes SH, Petrich JM, Tuder RM, Kalhan SC, Erzurum SC. Increased mitochondrial arginine metabolism supports bioenergetics in asthma. J Clin Invest. 2016 May 23. pii: 82925. doi: 10.1172/JCI82925. PMID: 27214549
  35. Ghosh A, Koziol-White CJ, Asosingh K, Cheng G, Ruple L, Groneberg D, Friebe A, Comhair SA, Stasch JP, Panettieri RA Jr, Aronica MA, Erzurum SC, Stuehr DJ. Soluble guanylate cyclase as an alternative target for bronchodilator therapy in asthma
  36. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Apr 26;113(17):E2355-62. doi:10.1073/pnas.1524398113. PMID: 27071111
  37. Ghosh S, Gupta M, Xu W, Mavrakis DA, Janocha AJ, Comhair SA, Haque MM, Stuehr DJ, Yu J, Polgar P, Naga Prasad SV, Erzurum SC. Phosphorylation inactivation of endothelial nitric oxide synthesis in pulmonary arterial hypertension, Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2016 Jun 1;310(11):L1199-205. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00092.2016. PMID: 27130529

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Using patient data from Cleveland Clinic’s COVID-19 registry, Dr. Zein found that receiving the flu vaccine does not increase risk for COVID-19 or worsen associated disease outcomes, suggesting it is safe and advisable to receive the influenza vaccine this flu season.