Faculty

Dr. Dean Befus

Professor Emeritus
Department of Medicine

About Me




Research

My research focuses in three areas of lung disease:

Cooperation between mast cells and airway epithelial cells in host defence against influenza A: We have extensive expertise in the study of mast cell activation and novel pathways that may be targets for new anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory agents. Our current studies are focused on the anti-viral activities of mast cells in cooperation with airway epithelial cells in influenza infection.  In particular, we are investigating a mast cell-derived factor that increases the resistance of epithelial cells to viral infection.

The neuro-endocrine-immunologic network in inflammation and stress: In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Calgary, we defined novel peptides derived from a rodent prohormone induced by stress and the sympathetic nervous system and that can regulate inflammatory responses, such as in asthma. Novel anti-inflammatory drugs have been developed and completed phase I and phase 2a clinical testing on asthma.  In translating this work from animal models to humans we have identified a novel human protein, CABS1, that is a biomarker of stress and that has anti-inflammatory activity. Molecular processing of CABS1 appears to yield fragments that are markers of resilience to stress in some individuals.  

As Director of the Alberta Respiratory Centre, I also have broad interests in asthma; ranging from its management to the development, implementation and evaluation of education programs for adults and children, their families and health care professionals.


Team Members

Kurtis Ng, MSc (2015 - present)

Eduardo Reyes-Serratos, MSc (2016 - present)