Dr. Gaggar obtained his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 2000 as a member of the prestigious Inteflex program. He then moved to Birmingham, AL where he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2003. Following residency training, he began fellowship training at UAB in pulmonary and critical care medicine. During the research phase of his fellowship training, he worked in the laboratories of Dr. JP Clancy (Chief, Pediatric Pulmonology) and Dr. J. Edwin Blalock (Professor, Department of Medicine). He completed his fellowship in 2006, with special emphasis in cystic fibrosis and lung transplantation.
The following year, Dr. Gaggar completed a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology at UAB. Dr. Gaggar was invited to joined the UAB Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine in 2006 as instructor in medicine. He currently serves as a director of the Pulmonary Biospecimen Repository and the Cystic Fibrosis Inflammation Group at UAB. He continues to see patients as both an inpatient physician and in the clinic setting. In addition, his laboratory program continues to investigate the roles of proteases in lung disease.
Dr. Gaggar currently sees patients after lung transplantation and individuals with cystic fibrosis at University Hospital. He also holds a staff position at the Birmingham VA Medical Center (BVAMC) where he sees individuals with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). In addition, he serves as an attending physician at both the UAB and the BVAMC intensive care units.
Dr. Gaggar's laboratory interests focus on the roles proteases play in modulation of lung disease. Dr. Gaggar utilizes a combination of cell-based systems, unique murine models, and clinical specimens, leading to research which is truly "translational" in nature. The Gaggar lab's interests focus on 3 major arenas: proteases and neutrophilic airway inflammation, proteases and ion transportation, and the Regulation of Surfactant Protein D by Airway Proteases.
Recently, Dr. Gaggar's laboratory and Dr. J. Edwin Blalock's laboratory have worked together to describe the proteolytic pathways involved in the generation of a novel neutrophil chemoattractant, proline-glycine-proline (PGP). Dr. Gaggar's group has shown that this chemoattractant is generated by the cleavage of collagen by matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-8 and MMP-9, in conjunction with a novel serine protease, prolyl endopeptidase (PE). Dr. Gaggar's group has also highlighted the relative contribution of PGP in development of BOS, demonstrating for the first time the impact this peptide might play in clinical lung disease. Ongoing efforts are now being focused in further delineation of the biological roles PGP may induce in the airway beyond neutrophil recruitment.