Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight



Rafael de la Hoz

Ruben Manuel Luciano Colunga Biancatelli, MD

Ruben M.L. Colunga-Biancatelli earned his MD degree and completed an Internal Medicine Residency at La Sapienza School of Medicine in Rome, Italy. Subsequently, he joined Professor Catravas's laboratory of Pulmonary Parenchymal and Endothelial Pathophysiology at Old Dominion University. Initially, he began as a visiting physician, then transitioned to a postdoctoral position, and in 2021, he was promoted to the role of Research Assistant Professor.

He has been a member of the ATS since 2019 and, in 2021, joined the TID assembly as an early career representative, facilitating communication with the Environmental Occupational Population Health (EOPH) assembly.

His research primarily revolves around the development of new drug candidates for chemically induced acute and chronic lung injuries, with a specific focus on hydrochloric acid (HCl), nitrogen mustard (NM), and half mustard (CEES) exposures. In greater detail, he endeavors to create multi-target approaches utilizing drugs that modulate the phosphorylated state of the cellular proteome. By inhibiting multiple overlapping cellular pathways, his aim is to ultimately mitigate the detrimental effects on the lung epithelium and endothelium resulting from exposure to these hazardous chemicals.

Dr. Colunga-Biancatelli is passionate about teaching and mentoring. He has made significant contributions to the Biomedical Sciences MS program, and has been in charge of organizing summer projects focused on wet-lab work and molecular investigation for residents and medical students of Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). These efforts resulted in recently gaining the title of Adjunct Professor in the Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Fellowship of EVMS. Prof. Colunga is a mentee of the regional Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP) of Virginia, focused on customer discovery, marketing, and strategies for the business of newly developed start-up companies.


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