Harvard Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship Program Faculty: Stefan W. Ryter, PH.D.
Stefan W. Ryter, PH.D.
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Dr. Ryter received his doctorate in Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Southern California (Ph.D., 1994). Dr. Ryter’s overall research interest is focused on molecular mechanisms of gene regulation and function with particular relevance to stress-inducible systems such as heme oxygenase-1. Dr. Ryter also studies molecular mechanisms of lung injury and disease, with a focus on tobacco-related lung injury and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His research also examines molecular adaptation to environmental stress, involving inflammatory, autophagic, and apoptotic mechanisms in pulmonary cells, as well as therapeutic effects of inhaled carbon monoxide. Dr. Ryter serves as co-investigator on several NIH funded programs including a recently funded program project on therapeutic application of carbon monoxide in sepsis. Additionally, Dr. Ryter performs editorial service for a number of biomedical journals.

Dr. Ryter also currently serves as the Scientific Liaison and Co-Program Director for the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (BWH/LRRI) Joint Lung Research Program. Since its inception in November, 2009, this unique partnership has sought to unite the strengths of two diverse academic establishments with a common goal: the improvement of respiratory health and amelioration of pulmonary disease through multidisciplinary collaborative research and education. As program Scientific Liaison and Co-Director, Dr. Ryter seeks to combine the clinical, bio-informatic, and bench research resources available at BWH, with the facilities at LRRI for high throughput animal screening and inhalation toxicology.


  1. Ryter SW, Nakahira K, Haspel JA, Choi AM. Autophagy in Pulmonary Diseases. Annu Rev Physiol 2012; 74:377-401. Feb 15. [Epub ahead of print].

  2. Lee SJ, Kim HP, Jin Y, Choi AM, Ryter S. Beclin 1 Deficiency is associated with increased hypoxia-induced angiogenesis. Autophagy 2011; 7 (8): 829-39.

  3. Ryter SW. Bile Pigments in pulmonary and vascular disease. Front Pharmacol. 2012; 3:39. Epub 2012 Mar 8.

  4. Constantin M, Choi AJS, Cloonan SM, Ryter SW. Therapeutic potential of heme oxygenase-1/carbon monoxide in lung disease. Int J Hypertens In Press, 2012.

  5. Nakahira K, Haspel JA, Rathinam VA, Lee SJ, Dolinay T, Lam HC, Englert JA, Rabinovitch M, Cernadas M, Kim HP, Fitzgerald KA, Ryter SW, Choi AM. Autophagy proteins regulate innate immune responses by inhibiting the release of mitochondrial DNA mediated by the NALP3 inflammasome. Nat Immunol 2011; 12(3):222-30.

  6. Lee SJ*, Ryter S*, Xu J-F, Nakahira K, Kim HP, Choi AM, Kim YS. Carbon monoxide activates autophagy via mitochondrial reactive oxygen species formation. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2011; 45(4):867-73.

  7. Wang X, Wang Y, Lee SJ, Kim HP, Choi AMK, Ryter SW Carbon monoxide inhibits Fas activating antibody-induced apoptosis in endothelial cells Medical Gas Research 2011; 1:8 (18 May 2011).

  8. Xu JF, Washko GR, Nakahira K, Hatabu H, Patel AS, Fernandez IE, Nishino M, Okajima Y, Yamashiro T, Ross JC, Estépar RS, Diaz AA, Li HP, Qu JM, Himes BE, Come CE, D'Aco K, Martinez FJ, Han MK, Lynch DA, Crapo JD, Morse D, Ryter SW, Silverman EK, Rosas IO, Choi AM, Hunninghake GM; the COPDGene Investigators. Statins and Pulmonary Fibrosis: The Potential Role of NLRP3 Inflammasome. Activation. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Mar 1;185(5):547-56. Jan 12. [Epub ahead of print]

  9. Doliany T, Kim YS, Howrylak J, Hunninghake GM, An CH, Fredenburgh L, Massaro AF, Rogers A, Gazourian L, Nakahira K, Haspel JA, Landazury R, Eppanapally S, Christie JD, Meyer NJ, Ware LB, Christiani DC, Ryter SW, Baron RM, Choi AM. Inflammasome-Regulated Cytokines are Critical Mediators of Acute Lung Injury Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 In Press.

  10. Lam H, Choi AM, Ryter SW. Isolation of mouse respiratory epithelial cells and exposure to experimental cigarette smoke at air liquid interface. J Vis Exp 2010 ; 48 : 2513. http://www.jove.com/index/details.stp?id=2513, doi: 10.3791/2513

  11. Choi, AJS, Ryter SW. Autophagy in Inflammatory Diseases. Int J Cell Biol 2011;2011:732798.ID:732798, doi. 10.1155/2011/732798.

  12. Shin DY, Chung J, Joe Y, Pae HO, Chang KC, Cho GJ, Ryter SW, Chung HT. Pretreatment with carbon monoxide releasing molecules suppresses hepcidin expression during inflammation and endoplasmic reticulum stress through inhibition of the STAT3 and CREBH pathways. Blood. 2012 Mar 15;119(11):2523-32. Epub 2012 Jan 19

  13. Ryter SW, Choi AMK. Heme oxygenase-1/Carbon monoxide: Novel therapeutic strategies in critical care medicine. Curr Opin Drug Targets 2010; 11(12):1485-94.

  14. Lee SJ, Smith A, Guo L, Alastalo T-P, Li M, Sawada H, Liu X, Chen X-H, Ifedigbo E, Jin Y, Feghali-Bostwick, Ifedigbo E, Jin Y, Ryter SR, Kim HP, Rabinovitch M, Choi AMK. Autophagic protein LC3B confers resistance against hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2010; 183(5):649-58.

  15. Ryter SW, Lee S.-J., Choi A.M.K. Autophagy in cigarette smoke-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Expert Rev Respir Med 2010; 4:573-84.

  16. Chen X-H, Lam HC, Jin Y, Kim HP, Cao J, Lee S-J, Ifedigbo E, Parameswaran H, Ryter S, Choi AM. Autophagy protein LC3B activates extrinsic apoptosis during cigarette-smoke induced emphysema. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2010; 107(44): 18880-85.