About the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine | NYU Langone Health

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About the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

Our division’s research, education, and clinical programs have advanced significantly over the past decade.

The past decade has been a period of tremendous progress and growth for NYU Langone Health’s Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, as well as the Chest Service at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, the seedbed of the entire division.

The division’s Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship now includes a third year of basic science, translational, and clinical research. We also offer advanced fellowships in critical care medicine, cardiology critical care medicine, interventional pulmonology, and sleep medicine.

In clinical care, what started as the Bellevue Chest Service has expanded across all NYU Langone–affiliated hospitals, and includes NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital, NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System, and NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital.

Our outpatient services include, among others, the NYU Langone Bellevue Asthma Clinic, NYU Langone’s Sleep Disorders Program, the Interventional Pulmonology Program, NYU Langone Pulmonary and Critical Care Associates, the Bellevue/NYU Occupational Environmental Medicine Clinic, and a directly observed therapy for tuberculosis program. We also perform lung transplants and pulmonary thromboendarterectomy procedures in concert with the NYU Langone Transplant Institute and the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Our clinical advances have been accompanied by the development of clinical, translational, and basic science research programs in areas such asthma, bronchiectasis, lung microbiome, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, interstitial and inflammatory lung diseases, environmental lung disease, and critical care medicine, among others. Under the direction of Daniel H. Sterman, MD, division director since 2015, a multidisciplinary pulmonary oncology research team focuses on clinical and translational research in lung cancer, mesothelioma, metastatic pleural disease, and other malignancies of the thorax.

Since 1990, research support for the division has grown from zero to numerous National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and foundation grant-funded programs.

History of the Division

The Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine grew out of the renowned Chest Service at Bellevue. That service, first designated as the tuberculosis service, was founded by James Alexander Miller, MD, in 1903, and has remained a world leader in the delivery of state-of-the-art patient care for more than a century.

Dr. Miller discovered that hundreds of tuberculosis patients in the medical clinic of the outpatient department were being treated with a cough syrup. Within the hospital, there were male and female wards for tuberculosis with a total capacity of 80 beds. Dr. Miller used an outmoded ferryboat moored in the East River near Bellevue as an outpatient facility for both children and adults with the condition to provide sunlight and fresh air to patients, which were among the only treatments available for tuberculosis at that time.

James Burns Amberson, MD, joined the Bellevue staff in 1930. He became interested in tuberculosis when he contracted the disease and was treated at the Trudeau Sanatorium in upstate New York. Dr. Amberson was a pioneer in clinical research in tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases and became visiting physician in charge of the Chest Service in 1938.

In the mid-1940s, Eleanor Baldwin, MD, and André Cournand, MD, founded the Bellevue Hospital Pulmonary Function Laboratory as part of the Chest Service. In the laboratory, Dr. Cournand and Dickinson Richards, MD, developed the technique for cardiac catheterization for which they (and Werner Forssmann, MD, of Germany) received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1956.

In 1968, the Bellevue Chest Service became an academic affiliate of NYU School of Medicine. For the last five decades, the Chest Service staff has contributed a great deal of knowledge about the pathophysiology, clinical behavior, and treatment of tuberculosis and other pulmonary diseases. Notably, the Pulmonary Function Laboratory, now called the André Cournand Pulmonary Physiology Research Laboratory, has provided insights into alveolar hypoventilation, cardiopulmonary effects of obesity, and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, under the leadership of Roberta M. Goldring, MD. In 2016, NYU Langone hosted a symposium honoring the 60th anniversary of the Nobel Prize awarded to the leaders of this laboratory.

In the 1980s, clinicians saw the Bellevue Chest Ward fill with patients suffering from HIV/AIDS and some of the first identified cases of disseminated Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Kaposi sarcoma, cytomegalovirus infection, and untreatable wasting.

William N. Rom, MD, who served as director of the Bellevue Chest Service and Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine from 1989 to 2015, continued the mission to respond to the needs of patients with HIV and other underserved populations. Dr. Rom updated the Bellevue Chest Service, expanded clinical programs, including the modernization of critical care, and significantly enlarged the research portfolio. During his tenure, the World Trade Center Health Program and the WTC Environmental Health Center at Bellevue were established.

Contact Us

For more information about the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, please contact Dr. Sterman at daniel.sterman@nyulangone.org or 646-501-4181.

You can also contact Katie Singer, MPA, division administrator, at katie.singer@nyulangone.org or 212-263-3876.