Pulmonary & Critical Care Fellowship Program
MGH BIDMC Harvard Medical School

Rachel Knipe


Rachel Knipe, MD

Instructor in Medicine

Academic Interests

Dr. Knipe’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms driving the development of pulmonary fibrosis. In particular, she utilizes mouse models and explanted tissue from IPF patients undergoing lung transplant to study the role that the actin cytoskeleton plays in multiple cell types to drive pulmonary fibrosis. Dr. Knipe is especially interested in endothelial cell contributions to pulmonary fibrosis, and she is currently studying the role of the cytoskeleton in regulating endothelial barrier function and how vascular permeability relates to fibrosis. However, she is also interested in the role of the cytoskeleton in epithelial cell and fibroblast contributions. Her work may lead to new investigations into the role of the cytoskeleton in acute lung injury as well. Dr. Knipe is affiliated with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases at MGH.

Awards and Recognition

Dr. Knipe’s work is supported by an NIH K08 award. She was previously supported by an ATS Foundation award in 2015 and the NIH Loan Repayment Award in 2014. She currently serves on the ATS Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology Program Committee.


A full list of Dr. Knipe’s published work can be found on My Bibliography.

More information can be found on Dr. Knipe's Harvard Catalyst Profile.


+Current Projects

  • Endothelial ROCK isoforms contribute to vascular permeability and pulmonary fibrosis
  • Protective Role of the S1P-S1P1 Pathway in Vascular Leak and Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Epithelial ROCK1 contributes to pulmonary fibrosis
  • Fibroblast ROCK contributes to pulmonary fibrosis
  • PET and MRI imaging using mouse models of vascular leak and pulmonary fibrosis
  • Nanoparticle delivery of anti-fibrotic drugs using cell specific targeting

+Selected Publications

  1. Knipe RS, Probst CK, Lagares D, Franklin A, Spinney JJ, Brazee PL, Grasberger P, Zhang L, Black KE, Sakai N, Shea BS, Liao JK, Medoff BD, Tager AM. The Rho Kinase Isoforms ROCK1 and ROCK2 Each Contribute to the Development of Experimental Pulmonary Fibrosis. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 2017; PMID: 29211497.
  2. Lagares D, Ghassemi-Kakroodi P, Tremblay C, Santos A, Probst CK, Franklin A, Santos DM, Grasberger P, Ahluwalia N, Montesi SB, Shea BS, Black KE, Knipe R, Blati M, Baron M, Wu B, Fahmi H, Gandhi R, Pardo A, Selman M, Wu J, Pelletier JP, Martel-Pelletier J, Tager AM, Kapoor M, ADAM10-mediated Ephrin-B2 Shedding Drives Myofibroblast Activation and Tissue Fibrosis. Nature Medicine 2017 Oct 23. PMID: 29058717
  3. Knipe R, Tager AM, Liao J. Rho Kinases as Critical Mediators of Multiple Pro-fibrotic Processes: Potential Therapeutic Targets for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Pharmacological Reviews 2015 Jan;67(1):103-17. PMID: 25395505 PMCID: PMC4279074
  4. Black KE, Berdyshev E, Bain G, Castelino FV, Shea, BS, Probst CK, Fontaine BA, Bronova I, Goulet L, Lagares D, Ahluwalia N, Knipe RS, Natarajan V, Tager AM. Autotaxin activity increases locally following lung injury, but is not required for pulmonary lysophosphatidic acid production of fibrosis. FASEB J 2016;30:2435-50. PMID: 27006447 PMCID: PMC4871797