Jahar Bhattacharya, M.D., D.Phil.

Professor of Medicine (tenured)



Dr. Jahar Bhattacharya, MD, DPhil, Professor of Medicine, is the Director of Lung Research at the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the CUMC. He has been a researcher for over thirty years with an interest in the biology of acute lung injury. Dr. Bhattacharya graduated in medicine from the Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India. He was cardiology resident at the Radcliff Infirmary, Oxford, UK. Subsequently, he obtained a Ph.D. from Oxford University, and then completed his postdoctoral training at the Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Bhattacharya's research has been supported by NIH funding and he has served on multiple NIH study sections. He serves as member of Advisory Board for the Cardiopulmonary System, Universities of Giessen, Frankfurt and Max-Planck Inst., Germany and as reviewer for multiple journals. He served on the Executive Committee of the APS Respiration Section and was Chair of the Pulmonary Circulation Assembly of the American Thoracic Society. He has given invited lectures at national and international meetings and has won awards including the Rhodes Scholarship, the American Thoracic Society's Research Recognition Award, the MERIT award of the NIH, and the Julius Comroe award of the American Physiological Society. Ongoing research in the Bhattacharya lab focuses on basic mechanisms of acute lung injury, using optical methods in live lungs. Projects include studies of epithelial interactions with cells of the myeloid lineage, mitochondrial mechanisms of alveolar repair and endothelial barrier regulation, and therapeutic effectiveness of cell-penetrating peptides. Dr. Bhattacharya directs the PACC’s T32 training program.

Education and Training

Medical School:

M.B.B.S., All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. 1968
M. Sc., Oxford University, England 1973
D. Phil., Oxford University, England 1976

Honors and Awards 


The Irene and Arthur Fishberg Prize for significant contributions to internal medicine, Columbia University


The Comroe Lecture, American Physiological Society


The Robert E. Forster Lecture, University of Pennsylvania


Member of Advisory Board, Max Planck Institute, Bad Nauheim, Germany


Awarded tenure at Columba University


Chair, Columbia branch of Lung Research program at University of Giessen, Germany


Member, Advisory Board, Excellence Cluster for the Cardiopulmonary System, Universities of Giessen, Frankfurt and Max-Planck Inst., Germany


Chair, Pulmonary Circulation Assembly, ATS


American Thoracic Society (ATS) Award for Recognition of Scientific Accomplishments




NIH Research Career Development Award


F.L. Neizer Fellow, Stanford University


Schorstein Lecturer, Oxford University


Rhodes Scholar


Contact Information: 

Lung Biology Laboratory
650 West 168th Street
BB 8-812
New York, NY 10032

Lab Manager: Rashmi Patel
P: (212) 305-7310
F: (212) 305-6701
E: rnp2105@columbia.edu

Research Interests

  • Mitochondrial regulation of alveolar and endothelial barrier properties
  • Role of actin in proinflammatory receptor expression
  • Ca2+ signaling between myeloid cell sand the alveolar epithelium
  • Cell-cell communication in lung inflammation and sepsis
  • Regulation of alveolar surfactant secretion
  • Formation and clearance of alveolar wall liquid
  • Mechanisms of pathogen stabilization in alveoli

Selected Funding

“Lung barrier protection by tatylated proteins” (PI)
NHLBI, RO1 (HL36024-29). 09/01/15-08/30/19

“Mitochondrial role in acute lung injury” (PI)
NHLBI, RO1 (HL122730-A1). 12/1/14-12/31/18

“Actin Fence Therapy for Acute Lung Injury” (PI)
USAMRAA Department of Defense (DoD) - PR150672. 08/01/16-07/31/19

“Columbia University Training Program in Lung Science” (PD)
NHLBI, T32 (HL105323-01A1). 07/1/16-06/30/21

Selected Publications

  1. Bhattacharya J, Westphalen K. Macrophage-epithelial interactions in pulmonary alveoli. Semin Immunopathol. 2016; 38:461-9. PMID: 27170185
  2. Sinha P, Islam MN, Bhattacharya S, Bhattacharya J. Intercellular mitochondrial transfer: bioenergetic crosstalk between cells. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2016; 38:97-101. PMID: 27235808
  3. Westphalen K, Gusarova G, Islam MN, Subramanian M, Cohen TS, Prince AS, Bhattacharya J. Sessile alveolar macrophages modulate immunity through connexin 43-based epithelial communication. Nature. 2014 Feb 27; 506(7489):503-506. PMID:24463523
  4. Huang SXL, Islam MN, O’Neil J, Hu Z, Yang Y-G, Chen Y-W, Mumau M, Green MD, Vunjak-Novakovic G, Bhattacharya J, Snoeck H-W. Highly efficient generation of airway and lung epithelial cells from human pluripotent stem cells. Nature Biotechnology. Nat Biotechnol. 2014 Jan; 32(1):84-91. PMID: 24291815
  5. Islam MN, Gusarova GA, Monma E, Das SR, Bhattacharya J. F-actin scaffold stabilizes lamellar bodies during surfactant secretion. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. 2014 Jan 1; 306(1): L50-57. PMID:24213916
  6. Looney MR, J Bhattacharya. Live imaging of the lung. Annu. Rev. Physiol. 2014 Feb 10; 76:431-445. PMID: 24245941.
  7. Rogers RS, J Bhattacharya. When cells become organelle donors. Physiology (Bethesda). 2013 Nov; 28(6):414-422. PMID:24186936
  8. Huertas, A., Das, S., Emin M., Rifkind JM, J. Bhattacharya and S. Bhattacharya. Erythrocytes induce proinflammatory endothelial activation in hypoxia. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013; 48:78-86. PMID:23043086
  9. Bhattacharya J, Matthay MA. Regulation and repair of the alveolar-capillary barrier in acute lung injury. Annu Rev Physiol. 2013; 75:593-615. PMID: 23398155
  10. Quadri S, Sun L, Islam MN, Shapiro L, Bhattacharya J. Cadherin selectivity filter regulates endothelial sieving properties. Nat Commun. 2012; 3:1099. PMID:23033075
  11. Emin, Memet T, Li Sun, A Huertas, S Das, J Bhattacharya, S Bhattacharya. Platelets induce endothelial tissue factor expression in a mouse model of acid-induced lung injury. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. 2012 Jun 1; 302(11):L1209-20. PMID:22505671
  12. Kristin Westphalen, Eiji Monma, Mohammad N. Islam & Jahar Bhattacharya. Acid contact in the rodent pulmonary alveolus causes proinflammatory signaling by membrane pore formation. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. 2012. 303:L107-16. PMID:22561462
  13. Islam MN, S Das, MT Emin, M Wei, L Sun, K Westphalen, D Rowlands, S Quadri, S Bhattacharya, J Bhattacharya. Mitochondrial transfer from bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells to pulmonary alveoli protects against acute lung injury. Nat Med. 2012. 18:759-765. PMID:22504485
    Editorial Comment: Prockop D. Mitochondria to the rescue. Nat. Med. 18:653-654. 2012.
  14. Bhattacharya, J. 2012. Lung capillaries raise the hypoxia alarm. J Clin Invest. 2012 Nov 1;122(11):3845-7. PMID: 21191375.
  15. Kiefmann R, Rifkind JM, Nagababu E, and J Bhattacharya. RBC induce hypoxic lung inflammation. Blood. 2008. 111:5205-14. PMID: 18270324.
    Editorial Comment: G. Zimmerman. “Hypoxic erythrocytes spark lung leukocyte adhesion”.
  16. Wang, P.M., Y. Ashino, H. Ichimura and J. Bhattacharya. Rapid alveolar liquid removal by a novel convective mechanism. Am. J. Physiol. (Lung Cell. Mol. Physiol.) 2001. 281:L1327-34. PMID: 11704526.
    Editorial Comment: O’Brodovich, H. Pulmonary edema fluid movement within the lung. 2001. 281:L1324-1326.
  17. Ashino, Y., X. Ying, L.G. Dobbs, and J. Bhattacharya. [Ca2+]i oscillations regulate type II cell exocytosis in the pulmonary alveolus. Am. J. Physiol. (Lung Cell. Mol. Physiol.) 279:L5-L13, 2000. PMID: 10893197.
    Editorial Comment: WR. Rice. “Life in the alveolus – who’s in charge?”
  18. Qiao, Ren-Li, X. Ying and J. Bhattacharya. Hyperoncotic albumin decreases the endothelial barrier in rat lung. Am. J. Physiol. 265:H198-H204, 1993. PMID: 7688190.

View Dr. Bhattacharya's full list of publications from PubMed

Medical Specialties

  • Pulmonary Disease Medicine