Robert S. Tepper MD PhD

Phone: 317-274-9647
Office: R4 202C

Robert S. Tepper, MD, PhD

Mary Agnes Kennedy and Kathryn Kennedy Weinberger Professor: Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Section: Pediatric Pulmonology and Critical Care


  • Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • Pediatric Residency: University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • MD: University of Wisconsin Medical School
  • PhD: University of Wisconsin, Department of Chemical Engineering

Current Research Interests:

Dr. Tepper's laboratory focuses upon lung structure and function as it relates to airway hyper-reactivity, as well as lung growth and maturation; the effects of chronic mechanical strain upon the mechanical properties of the lung; the effects of lung injury early in life upon lung growth and airway reactivity.

Airway hyper-responsiveness is the most common respiratory disorder of childhood. We have demonstrated that in normal subjects, airway responsiveness declines between infancy and adulthood. The mechanisms for the age related decline in airway responsiveness of normal subjects and for the persistently heightened responsiveness in certain children and adults have not been elucidated. The conducting airways and parenchymal lung volume develop and grow at different rates in utero and continue to do so between infancy and adulthood. The structure and the mechanical properties of the airways and the lung parenchyma, as well as the mechanical interdependence between the airways and the surrounding parenchyma, are significant determinants of airway caliber under resting conditions and following bronchoconstriction. In addition, chronic mechanical strain has significant effects upon lung growth and the mechanical properties of lung tissue. My laboratory has focused upon maturational changes in pulmonary mechanics by assessing human subjects and animals. Our studies of human infants also evaluate the effects of early lung injury from passive smoke exposure, premature birth, viral lower respiratory infections, and pulmonary inflammation upon lung growth and airway responsiveness.

Research studies focus upon 1) the effects of mechanical strain upon airway reactivity in vivo and in vitro, 2) the interaction between atopic inflammation and airway reactivity, and 3) the effect of Pak1 deficiency upon pulmonary inflammation and airway reactivity, and 4) the effects of premature birth, as well as birth at very high altitude (chronic hypoxia) upon lung growth and development.

Dr. Tepper's Laboratory