Barr Laboratory

Hamilton Southworth Professor of Medicine
Professor of Epidemiology
Chief, Division of General Medicine

Dr Barr’s research is in respiratory epidemiology with a focus on obstructive lung disease and emphysema.   In particular, he is interested in a better understanding of the epidemiology and causes of these components of chronic lower respiratory disease using methods that integrate advanced imaging (predominantly computed tomography [CT] and magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) with genomic, cellular and biomarker information in large cohorts. Currently, Dr Barr is principal investigator for the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Lung Study, a related genetic study and the MESA COPD Study, and the Columbia University Field Center for SubPopulations and Intermediary Outcome Measures in COPD Study (SPIROMICS), COPD Gene study and the MESA Air Pollution Study.  He is also principal investigator for the Spirometry Reading Center for the Hispanic Community Health Study.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications (from > 230 publications)

  • Barr RG, Cooper DM, Speizer FE, Drazen JM, Camargo CA Jr.  b2-receptor gene polymorphism and body mass index are associated with asthma in sedentary but not active women.  Chest 2001; 120:1474-79.
  • Barr RG, Herbstman J, Speizer FE, Camargo CA Jr.  Validation of self-reported chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a prospective cohort study of female registered nurses.  Am J Epidemiol 2002; 155:965-71.
  • Barr RG, Rowe BH, Camargo CA Jr.  Methylxanthines for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease:  meta-analysis of randomized trials. BMJ 2003; 327:643-46. (PMC196388)
  • Karpati AK, Perrin M, Matte T, Leighton J, Schwartz J, Barr RG.  Pesticide spraying for West Nile Virus control and emergency department asthma visits in New York City, 2000.  Environ Health Perspect 2004; 112:1183–1187. PMID: 15289164
  • Barr RG, Wentowski CC, Curhan GC, Somers SC, Stampfer MJ, Schwartz J, Speizer FE, Camargo CA Jr.  Prospective study of acetaminophen use and newly diagnosed asthma among women.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2004; 169:836-41.
  • Schwartzman K, Oxlade O, Barr RG, Grimard F, Acosta I, Baez J, Ferreira E, Melgen RE, Morose W, Salgado AC, Jacquet V, Maloney S, Laserson K, Pablos-Mendez A, Menzies D. Local returns from investment in global tuberculosis control.  New Engl J Med 2005; 353:1008-1020.
  • Barr RG, Bourbeau J, Camargo CA Jr, Ram FSF.  Inhaled tiotropium for stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease:  a meta-analysis.  Thorax 2006;61:854–862. (PMC2104759)
  • Barr RG, Kurth T, Stampfer MJ, Buring JE, Hennekens CH, Gaziano JM.  Aspirin and decreased adult-onset asthma: randomized comparisons from the Physicians’ Health Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2007; 175:120-125. PMID: 17068328
  • Barr RG, Mesia Vela S, Austin JHM, Keller B, Reeves AP, Shimbo D, Stevenson L. Impaired flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery is associated with low pulmonary function & emphysema in ex-smokers. The EMCAP Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 2007;176:1200-7. (PMC2176103) [Editorial: Sabit R, Shale DJ.  Vascular structure and function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A chicken and egg issue? Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2007;176:1175-76]
  • Jiang R, Burke GL, Enright PL, Newman AB, Margolis HG, Cushman M, Tracy RP, Wang Y, Kronmal RA, Barr RG. Inflammatory markers and longitudinal lung function decline in the elderly. Am J Epidemiol 2008;168:602-10. PMID: 18687665
  • Lederer DJ, Enright PL, Kawut SM, Hoffman EA, Hunninghake G, Jiang R, Austin JHM, vanBeek E, Lovasi GS, Barr RG. Cumulative cigarette smoking is associated with spirometric restriction and high attenuation areas on CT scan: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Lung Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2009;180:407-14. (PMC2742759)
  • Barr RG, Bluemke DA, Ahmed FS, Carr JJ, Enright PL, Hoffman EA, Jiang R, Kawut SM, Kronmal RA, Lima JA, Shahar E, Smith LJ, Watson KE.  Percent emphysema, airflow obstruction and impaired left ventricular filling. New Engl J Med 2010;362:217-27. (PMC2887729) [Editorial. Vonk-Noordegraaf A. The shrinking heart in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. New Engl J Med, 2010;362:267-68]
  • Lovasi GS, Diez Roux AV, Hoffman EA, Kawut SM, Jacobs DR Jr, Barr RG. Environmental tobacco smoke exposure in childhood is associated with early emphysema in adulthood: The MESA Lung Study. Am J Epidemiol 2010;171:43-62.
  • Hancock DB, Eijgelsheim M, Wilk JB, Gharib SA, Loehr LR, Marciante KD, Franceschini N, van Durme YMTA, Chen T, Barr RG, Schabath MB, Couper DJ, Brusselle GG, Psaty BM,  van Duijn CM, Uitterlinden UG, Hofman A, Punjabi NM, Rivadeneira F, Morrison AC, Enright PL, North KE, Heckbert SR, Lumley T, Stricker BHC, O’Connor GT, London SJ. Meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies identify multiple loci associated with pulmonary function. Nature Genetics 2010;42;45-52. (PMC2832852) [Editorial. Weiss ST. Lung function and airway diseases. Nature Genetics 2010;42;14-16]
  • Rodriguez J, Jiang R, Johnson WC, MacKenzie BA, Smith LJ, Barr RG. The association of pipe and cigar use with cotinine levels, lung function and airflow obstruction: a cross-sectional study. Ann Intern Med 2010;152:201-10. (PMC2906916)
  • Kiefer EM, Hankinson JL, Barr RG. Similar relation of age and height to lung function among whites, African Americans, and Hispanics. Am J Epidemiol 2011;173:376-87. (PMC3032806). [Editorial: Jacobs Jr DR, Meyer KA. On population subgroups, mathematics, and interventions.  Am J Epidemiol 2011;173:388-90]
  • Barr RG, Ahmed FS, Carr JJ, Hoffman EA, Jiang R, Kawut SM, Watson KE. Subclinical atherosclerosis, airflow obstruction and emphysema: the MESA Lung Study. Eur Respir J 2011; in press.