Alice S. Prince, MD

Academic Appointments

  • John M. Driscoll Jr., MD and Yvonne Driscoll, MD Professor of Pediatrics in Division of Infectious Diseases
Alice S. Prince, MD

We have been studying the interactions of bacteria and respiratory epithelial cells to understand the pathogenesis of bacterial infection in cystic fibrosis (CF). As airway inflammation is a major component of CF lung disease, our studies have focused on the molecular mechanisms involved in bacteria activation of epithelial proinflammatory cytokine expression. Our approach has been to use bacterial genetic systems to identify virulence genes and adhesins important in the pathogenesis of infection and to delineate the cytokine signaling systems in normal and CF epithelial cells that are activated by these bacterial components.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the major bacterial pathogen in CF. We demonstrated that this organism recognizes asialylated glycolipid receptors on the surface of airway epithelial cells, and that these asialylated receptors are increased in cells with CFTR mutations. Ligation of these receptors by piliated P. aeruginosa, and other pulmonary pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus activates IL-8 expression by airway epithelial cells. The pathway appears to involve recognition of these glycolipid receptors expressed within caveolae on the cell surface, the release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores and the activation of p38 and Erk1/2 mitogen activated protein kinases. This results in the translocation of NF-kB and IL-8 transcription.

As IL-8 functions as the major polymorphonuclear leukocyte chemokine in the lung, this pathway is responsible for the induction of airway inflammation in response to adherent bacteria, or their gene products. Cells with CFTR mutations appear to have increased activation of this pathway, both in response to bacterial pathogens, as well as under unstimulated conditions. In ongoing studies we are identifying the cell components which make up the asialoGM1 receptor-complex as well as the key signaling moieties involved in this pathway. Using a murine model of acute pulmonary infection, we can test the efficacy of therapeutic strategies designed to either prevent infection, or to modulate the inflammatory response mediated by the epithelial cells. Visit the Prince Lab website: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/hs/princelab

Departments and Divisions

  • Department of Pediatrics
    Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Board Certifications

  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases
  • Pediatrics

Areas of Expertise

  • Infectious Disease

Education and Training

  • Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Internship: Babies & Children's Hospital - Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Residency: Babies & Children's Hospital - Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Fellowship: Babies & Children's Hospital - Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center

Provider Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital
  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Insurance Programs

Please contact the provider's office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

  • AETNA [Aetna Signature Administrators, EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, NYP Employee Plan, NY Signature, POS, PPO, Student Health]
  • Affinity Health Plan [Essential Plan, Medicaid Managed Care]
  • Amida Care [Special Needs]
  • CIGNA [EPO, Great West (National), HMO, POS, PPO]
  • Emblem/GHI [Medicare Managed Care, PPO]
  • Emblem/HIP [ConnectiCare, EPO, Essential Plan, HMO, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO, Select Care (Exchange), Vytra]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, PPO]
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus [Child/Family Health Plus, Essential Plan, Medicaid Managed Care]
  • Fidelis Care [Child/Family Health Plus, Essential Plan, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care]
  • Healthfirst [Child/Family Health Plus, Leaf (Exchange), Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care]
  • Local 1199 [Local 1199]
  • MagnaCare (National) [MagnaCare]
  • Multiplan [Multiplan]
  • Oxford Health Plans [Freedom, Liberty]
  • UnitedHealthcare [Compass (Exchange), Empire Plan, HMO, Medicaid (Community Plan), Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO]
  • VNSNY CHOICE [Medicare Managed Care, SelectHealth, Special Needs]
  • WellCare [Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care]

This provider sees pediatric patients

This provider does not accept new patients

Contact Phone Number: 2123058254

Research Interests

  • Bacterial induction of cytokine signaling in epithelial cells

NIH Grants

  • INNATE IMMUNE CLEARANCE OF HOST-ADAPTED PULMONARY PATHOGENS (Federal Gov)

    Jan 11 2017 - Nov 30 2023

    S. AUREUS ADAPTATION TO THE CF LUNG (Private)

    Nov 1 2018 - Oct 31 2020

    MODIFICATION OF BONE GRAFTS FOR ORTHOPAEDIC PROCEDURES (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2015 - Jul 31 2020

    MODIFICATION OF BONE GRAFTS FOR ORTHOPAEDIC PROCEDURES (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2015 - Jul 31 2020

    MODIFICATION OF BONE GRAFTS FOR ORTHOPAEDIC PROCEDURES (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2015 - Jul 31 2020

    CFTR REGULATES PTEN-DEPENDENT IMMUNITY: A ROLE IN THE CF PATHOLOGY (Private)

    Apr 1 2017 - Mar 31 2019

    CALCIUM DEPENDENT SIGNALING PATHWAYS IN EPITHELIAL CELLS (Federal Gov)

    Mar 9 2015 - Jan 31 2019

    CALCIUM DEPENDENT SIGNALING PATHWAYS IN EPITHELIAL CELLS (Federal Gov)

    Mar 9 2015 - Jan 31 2019

    CALCIUM DEPENDENT SIGNALING PATHWAYS IN EPITHELIAL CELLS (Federal Gov)

    Mar 9 2015 - Jan 31 2019

    STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS ACTIVATION OF TNF SIGNALING PATHWAYS (Federal Gov)

    Aug 15 2014 - Jun 30 2018

    STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS ACTIVATION OF TNF SIGNALING PATHWAYS (Federal Gov)

    Aug 15 2014 - Jun 30 2018

    STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS ACTIVATION OF TNF SIGNALING PATHWAYS (Federal Gov)

    Aug 15 2014 - Jun 30 2018

    MRSA ACTIVATION OF HUMAN KERATINOCYTE SIGNALING (Federal Gov)

    May 15 2013 - Apr 30 2018

    MRSA ACTIVATION OF HUMAN KERATINOCYTE SIGNALING (Federal Gov)

    May 15 2013 - Apr 30 2017

    STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS EXPLOITATION OF AUTOPHAGY PROMOTES LATENT INFECTION (Federal Gov)

    Mar 1 2013 - Feb 28 2016

    TYPE I IFN SIGNALING IN AIRWAY EPITHELIAL IMMUNE RESPONSE (Private)

    Jul 1 2011 - Jun 30 2014

    MICROBIAL DIVERSITY AND ECOLOGY IN CYSTIC FIBROSIS (Private)

    Jul 1 2010 - Jun 30 2014

    PARTICIPATION OF MUCOSAL TYPE I INTERFERON SIGNALING IN PULM ONARY DISEASE (Federal Gov)

    Jul 1 2009 - Jun 30 2011