Instructor pf Medicine
Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

ph: 401-444-4191
fax: 401-444-8447

Debasree Banerjee, MD MS


Debasree Banerjee is an instructor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep at Rhode Island Hospital/Warren Alpert School of Medicine. She completed her training in internal medicine and pulmonary critical care at Brown, receiving the Harvey Lesselbaum award, given to one graduating member of the class, in recognition of commitment to teaching and patient care. She now participates in 25% clinical time as a pulmonologist and intensivist at Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital with 75% of protected research time. She conducts her research which focuses on the role of Chitinase 3 Like 1 in sepsis, in Dr. Jack Elias and Dr. Chun Lee’s laboratory on the Brown campus. She hopes to add to our understanding the pathobiology of sepsis.

COBRE Abstract

Despite overall decreasing mortality among septic patients in the last two decades, the understanding of the immune pathobiology of death and multi-organ failure remains incomplete. Multiple large clinical trials with immunomodulatory agents directed at down-regulating pro-inflammatory responses to injury in sepsis and trauma have been negative. Chitinase 3-like 1 (Chi3L1), a prototype of chitinase-like proteins, has been implicated as a master regulator in various innate and adaptive immune responses including bacterial infection and allergic inflammation. The specific role of Chi3L1 as an immunoregulator in septic shock and nosocomial sepsis has not been defined. After cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in the murine model, the serum and local tissue expression of Chi3L1 is significantly induced in a time dependent manner and the survival rate is also significantly increased in Chi3L1 null mutant mice compared to wild type (WT) animals. In humans, serum levels of Chi3L1 in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock are significantly increased compared to other critically ill controls. Interestingly, the expression of PD-L1 is significantly increased in the spleen of CLP WT mice, but normalized in the mice with Chi3L1 KO (Chi3L1 -/-) mice. These findings led us to hypothesize that Chi3L1 is an upstream regulator of the PD-1: PD-L1 pathway and thus may serve as a more potent therapeutic target for immune therapy in sepsis. The purpose of the proposed studies are to ascertain the mechanism of the effects of Chi3L1 on mortality in sepsis and to determine if this circulating protein is a predictor of mortality in septic humans.


Banerjee D, Levy M, “Sepsis Definitions.” Sepsis: Definitions, Pathophysiology and the Challenge of Bedside Management. First edition. Nicholas Ward MD, and Mitchell Levy MD, New York: Humana Press. Forthcoming 2016. 400 pages. Print

Banerjee D, Mazer, J and Ward NS, Acute Respiratory Failure in Adult Comprehensive Critical Care Review Textbook, Society of Critical Care Medicine. Forthcoming 2016.

Pengo M.F, Banerjee D, Kaur P, Bourjeily G. Sleep disordered breathing in pregnancy: Food for thought. Obstetric Medicine 2016

Banerjee D, Hussain R, Mazer J, Carino G. A prophylactic fresh frozen plasma transfusion leads to a possible case of transfusion-related acute lung injury. BMJ Case Rep 2014 (PMID: 25053669)

Banerjee D, Anyu Zhou A, Whittenhall M, Palmisciano A, Krishnan I, Klinger JR, Dudley S, Ventetuolo CE. Alternative Splicing of the Cardiac Sodium Channel in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Accepted American Thoracic Society International Conference 2016 (abstract #5213)

Banerjee D, Kamuren J, Baird G, Palmisciano A, Krishnan I, Whittenhall M, Klinger JR, Ventetuolo CE. The Relationship between the Modified Borg Scores and Hospitalization in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Accepted American Thoracic Society International Conference 2016 (abstract #7461).

Ventetuolo CE, Aliotta J, Pereira M, Banerjee D, Zhou Y, Ma B, Elias JA, Lee CG, Klinger JR. Chitinase 3-like-1 Plays an Important Role in the Development of Right Ventricular Hypertrophy and Pulmonary Vascular Remodeling. Accepted American Thoracic Society International Conference 2016 (abstract #10908).

Project Updates

Mitchell M Levy, MD, MCCM, FCCP
Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Medical Director, MICU

Chun Geun Lee, MD, Ph.D
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Brown University