Dr. Naftali Kaminski, recently designated as the Boehringer-Ingelheim Professor of Internal Medicine and chief of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at Yale School of Medicine, focuses his research on the application of genomic approaches to improve diagnosis and treatment of Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis — a chronic and untreatable scarring lung disease — as well as other chronic lung diseases.
Kaminski, who joined the Yale faculty on July 1, previously served as the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Endowed Chair for Pulmonary Research at the University of Pittsburgh and was a tenured professor of medicine, pathology, computational biology, and human genetics there. He was the director of the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease and the Lung at the University of Pittsburgh, and led the center to national prominence as one of the leading programs specializing in care and research for interstitial lung diseases.
Kaminski, who received his medical degree from the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Israel, completed a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Sheba Medical Center in Israel. After his fellowship, he was appointed head of Functional Genomics at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, before being recruited to lead the Simmons Center.
The Yale researcher is the author of more than 150 research papers, review articles, and book chapters. Among the most recent discoveries made by Kaminski’s group are the discovery that some noncoding RNAs such as microRNAs play a significant role in the pathogenesis of human lung fibrosis and the identification of novel molecular and genetic biomarkers for diagnosis and outcome prediction in pulmonary fibrosis. At Yale, Kaminski plans to extend his work on chronic lung diseases and develop a leading program in personalized medicine of advanced lung diseases.
He was awarded the 2010 Marvin I. Schwarz Award for contributions to patient care and research in pulmonary fibrosis from the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis. In 2012, he was awarded the University of Pittsburgh Innovator Award. This year, Kaminski was honored with the American Thoracic Society Recognition of Scientific Achievements Award at the American Thoracic International Conference, and the Helmholtz Institute International Fellow Award in recognition of his outstanding research.
Kaminski is an associate editor of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and the chair-elect of the Assembly on Respiratory, Cell, and Molecular Biology at the American Thoracic Society.