New Faculty

Dr. Rodrigo Vazquez Guillamet joins the Department of Medicine

Dr. Rodrigo Vazquez Guillamet joined the Department of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine as an Associate Professor on July 1, 2019.

The focus of Dr. Vazquez Guillamet’s clinical practice and research gravitates around chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung transplantation. COPD is the leading chronic respiratory cause of death worldwide as well as the second most common indication for lung transplantation in the United States. The barriers to lung transplantation are many and include socioeconomic, medical and surgical barriers. Complementary clinical and research COPD centers can help overcome some of these barriers. During recent years, Dr. Vazquez Guillamet developed a multidisciplinary COPD clinic that provides detailed phenotyping of patients. As an example of complementary clinical work and research, the initial organization of the clinic benefited from the development of electronic medical record based “phenotypes” leading to personalized clinical pathways.

Transplant physicians still can’t accurately prognosticate which COPD patients will obtain a survival benefit from lung transplantation. Understanding the natural history of the disease is essential to answering this question. Dr. Vazquez Guillamet’s research has developed and locally validated mortality prediction rules that take into consideration competing events. This way, physicians can help select the appropriate timing for transplantation.

Detecting a disease in early stages increases the chances of a cure and provides more opportunities for intervention. Dr. Vazquez Guillamet has experience developing a clinical severity classification for chronic bronchitis as well as new ultrasound based non-invasive diagnostic tests aiming to diagnose chronic bronchitis at its earliest stages. Both, once validated, could be used to diagnose and follow up patients with chronic bronchitis.

Dr. Vazquez Guillamet’s goal for the near future is to help advance and meld emerging knowledge in COPD and lung transplantation.