award-recipient-2023-Dr. Vickram Tejwani

Dr. Vickram Tejwani

Airway inflammation, transcriptional profile and CT densitometry in alpha-1 antitrypsin PI*MZ individuals


The prevalence of individuals with a PI*MZ phenotype is estimated to be 2-5% and available studies raise the possibility that there is either a small increased risk of emphysema and airflow obstruction in all PI*MZ individuals or, alternatively, a larger risk in a subset. Studies among PI*MM individuals with COPD and murine models suggest that airway inflammation is associated with worse emphysema. These and other data support the current paradigm that unopposed neutrophil elastase activity causes subsequent emphysematous changes. Our central hypothesis is airway inflammation underlies more severe emphysema and airflow obstruction in a subset of PI*MZ individuals. By identifying this subset, we can detect the presence of subclinical inflammation and upon doing so, treatment targets for early disease.


  1. Compare emphysema quantification in those with high versus low airway inflammation in PI*MZ individuals.  
  2. To characterize the airway transcriptional profile in PI*MZ individuals compared to matched PI*MM and PI*ZZ individuals.


Dr. Vickram Tejwani is an Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. He is a physician-scientist focused on better understanding the natural history and immune phenotype of alpha-1 heterozygotes and COPD. He joined Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine as a physician and investigator in the COPD and asthma centers after completion of a clinical and post-doctoral research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to this he completed residency and chief residency at the Cleveland Clinic.