Wellington V. Cardoso, MD, PhD


Wellington V. Cardoso, MD, PhD, is Professor and the Director of the Columbia Center for Human Development at the Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Medicine and Genetics & Development (CUMC)

Administrative Titles

  • Director, Columbia Center for Human Development


  • Portuguese
  • Spanish


  • Male

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MD, 1981 Pathology, University of Brasilia, Faculty of Medicine (Brazil)
  • PhD, 1989 University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  • Fellowship: Boston University School Medicine
  • Fellowship: University of British Columbia (Canada)


Regulation of lung morphogenesis, progenitor/stem cell and lineage diffrentiation during development and disease.

Dr. Cardoso’s research focuses on the mechanisms that regulate lung development and regeneration-repair of the lung. For nearly two decades his laboratory has been making relevant contributions to the field, providing insights into how developmental regulators, such as retinoic acid, Fgf, Tgf beta, Hippo-Yap and Notch control lung progenitor cell fate, morphogenesis and epithelial differentiation. These studies identified molecular and cellular events that lead to progenitor cell expansion and formation of the bronchial tree, which are disrupted in conditions associated with retinoid deficiency, identified Notch-mediated mechanisms that balance the lung progenitor cell pools and cellular phenotypes in airways , shown to be abnormal in chronic respiratory diseases, among other findings These studies have contributed to the understanding of the mechanisms controlling lung regeneration-repair and the impact of prenatal fetal exposures in the susceptibility of the adult lung to disease. Current research includes the control of lung lineage specification during normal development and pathological conditions, the identification of novel components of the endogenous airway progenitor/stem cell pool in mice and humans, and the understanding of the signals that regulate formation and diversification of the ciliated cells in the lung in animal models and in human pulmonary diseases. Over the course of his career as a Principal Investigator he has received multiple NIH RO1 and Program Project grants. Recent awards include a R35-NHLBI Outstanding Investigator grant and the Irene & Arthur Fishberg Prize 2017, Columbia University Medical Center for his leadership and contributions to the field. He has served as Chair and reviewer in multiple NIH study section committees and as an invited speaker in national and international research conferences world-wide.

Research Interests

  • Airway epithelial differentiation and pathogenesis of chronic airway diseases
  • Developmental basis of adult lung disease
  • Lung development and repair-regeneration
  • Progenitor/Stem cell biology


2016-23 NIH-NHLBI – R35 HL135834-01 (PI: Cardoso): “Mechanisms Controlling Expansion and Lineage Specification of Airway Progenitors in Development and Disease”.

2017-21 NIH-NHLBI – R01 HL103676-06 (double PI: Cardoso & Lederer) “Subclinical interstitial lung disease in MESA and FAR-ILD”.

2017-18 DoD PR16187 Discovery Award (Co-I: Cardoso, PI: Mori): “Development of a Novel Approach to Regenerate Functional Lungs”.

2016-23 NIH-NHLBI – U01 HL134760-01 (Co-I: Cardoso; PIs: Snoeck, Vunjak-Novakovic): “Modeling, Pathogenesis and Treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis”.

2016-19 NIH-NHLBI – R01 HL131422-01 (Co I: Cardoso; PI: Lu): “The Trinucleoitide Repeat Containing 6a Mediated miRNA Activities in the Ciliogenesis”.

2014-16 NIH-NHLBI - R01 HL119836-01A1 (PI: Cardoso): “Regulation of the Ciliated Cell Fate in Airway Progenitors”.

2014-16 NIH-NHLBI - R01 HL124392 (Co PI: Cardoso; PI: Varelas): “Defining Epithelial Cell Polarity Cues that Direct Cell Fate”.

2012-16 NIH-NHLBI - R01 HL067129-09A1 (PI: Cardoso): “Retinoic Acid Regulation of Lung Development”.

2011-16 NIH-NHLBI - R01 HL105971-01A1 (PI: Cardoso): “Regulation of Airway Progenitor Cell Fate in Development and Regeneration”.

2014-15 NIH-NHLBI - R56 HL121476 (Co-I: Cardoso; PI: Guha): “Regulation of Upk3a-Expressing Airway Progenitors During Homeostasis and Post-Injury Repair”.

2014-15 NIH-NHLBI - R01 HL105971-03S1 (PI: Cardoso, Supervisor: Maria Stupnikov): Diversity Research Supplement for Graduate Research.

2008-13 NIH NHLBI - P01 HL47049 (PO1-PI: Cardoso): “Determinants of Cell Fate and Differentiation in the Developing Lung”.

. Project 1 (PI: Cardoso): “Mechanisms of Segregation of Respiratory Progenitors in the Early Lung”.

. Project 2 (Co-PI: Cardoso): “MiRNA Pathway in Proximal-Distal Differentiation in Mouse Lung Development”

. Administrative Core (PI: Cardoso).

2011-12 NIH NHLBI - P01 HL47049 (PO1-PI: Cardoso; Stevenson): Undergraduate Research Supplement (URS).

2009-10 NIH-NHLBI: NOT-OD-09-056. (PI: Lu; Co-PI: Cardoso) Administrative Supplement: “MicroRNA-mediated Gene Regulation in Lung Development”.

2008-12 NIH/NHLBI- 1R01 HL089795 (PI: Fine, Co-PI: Cardoso):“Hematopoietic Cell Fates in the Developing Lung”. $250,000

2008-10 NIH-NHLBI - R03 HL095415-01 (PI: Lu & Cardoso). “Characterization of miRNA Expression in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)”.

2006-10 NIH NHLBI 2RO-1 HL067129-05A1 (PI: Cardoso): “Retinoic Acid Signaling in Lung Morphogenesis”

2006-10 NIH NHLBI 1 R01 HL081800-01A1 (PI: Lu; Co-PI: Cardoso): “MicroRNA-mediated Gene Regulation in Lung Development”.

2002-07 NIH NHLBI PO-1 HL47049 (PO1 Project PI: Cardoso): “FGF10 Regulation of Lung Branching Morphogenesis”

2002-07 NIH NHLBI PO-1 HL47049 (PO1: Project Co-PI: Cardoso): “Lung specification and Induction in the Foregut Endoderm”.

2001-05 NIH NHLBI RO-1 HL/HD67129-01 (PI: Cardoso): “Retinoic Acid Signaling in Lung Morphogenesis”.

2000 NIH-NHLBI- R13 HL62941 (PI: Williams; Co-PI: Cardoso): Funding for Workshop: “Basic Mechanisms in Lung Development.

Selected Publications

1. Mori M, Hazan R, Danielian PS, Mahoney JE, Li H, Lu J, Miller ES, Zhu X, Lees JA, Cardoso WV. Cytoplasmic E2f4 forms organizing centers for initiation of centriole amplification during multiciliogenesis. Nature Commun. 2017 Jul 4;8:15857. PMID: 28675157.

2. Guha A, Deshpande A, Jain A, Sebastiani P, Cardoso WV. Uroplakin 3a+ Cells Are a Distinctive Population of Epithelial Progenitors that Contribute to Airway Maintenance and Post-injury Repair. Cell Rep. 2017 Apr 11;19(2):246-254. PMID: 28402849.

3. Tsao PN, Matsuoka C, Wei SC, Sato A, Sato S, Hasegawa K, Chen HK, Ling TY, Mori M, Cardoso WV, Morimoto M. Epithelial Notch signaling regulates lung alveolar morphogenesis and airway epithelial integrity. Proc Natl Acad Sci, USA. 2016 Jun 30. Pii: 201511236. PMID: 27364009.

4. Mori M, Mahoney JE, Stupnikov MR, Paez-Cortez JR, Szymaniak AD, Varelas X, Herrick DB, Schwob J, Zhang H, Cardoso WV. Notch3-Jagged signaling controls the pool of undifferentiated airway progenitors. Development. 2015 Jan 15;142(2):258-67. PMID: 25564622

5. Mahoney JE, Mori M, Szymaniak A, Varelas X, Cardoso WV. The Hippo Pathway Effector Yap Controls Patterning and Differentiation of Airway Epithelial Progenitors. Dev. Cell. 2014 Jul 28;30(2):137-50. PMID: 25043473.

6. Szymaniak AD, Mahoney JE, Cardoso WV, Varelas X. Crumbs3-Mediated Polarity Directs Airway Epithelial Cell Fate through the Hippo Pathway Effector Yap. Dev Cell. 2015 Aug 10;34(3):283-96. PMID: 26235047.

7. Chen F, Marquez H, Kim YK, Qian J, Shao F, Cruikshank K, Quadro L, Cardoso WV. Prenatal retinoid deficiency leads to airway hyperresponsiveness in adult mice. J Clin Invest. 2014 Feb 124:801-11. PMID: 24401276.

8. Chen F, Cao Y, Qian J, Shao F, Niederreither K, Cardoso WV. A retinoic acid-dependent network in the foregut controls formation of the mouse lung primordium. J. Clin. Invest. 2010. 120:2040-8, PMID: 20484817.