Heber Nielsen, MD

Heber Nielsen, MD

Professor of Pediatrics



BA, Physics, Whitman College
MD, University of Utah School of Medicine
Postdoctoral Training, Harvard Medical School


Campus: Boston
Office: M&V 515

Contact Information

Office Phone: 617-636-6608

E-mail   Send an e-mail


Research Web Site  Lab Research Page
Recent Publications  Abstract in PubMed

Graduate Programs

Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology


Research Synopsis

Research in my lab is on mechanisms of normal development of the fetal lung and how this is interrupted in diseases of the newborn. The primary focus is on the fibroblast-type II cell communication process which directs maturation of surfactant production, and how this may be disrupted by competing signals and lung injury. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) controls fibroblast communication to type II cells. Communication to the type II cell is accomplished through a second growth factor neuregulin (NRG). Both EGF and NRG are ligands of the ErbB receptor family. My work focuses on the how EGF promotes the production and intracellular processing of NRG for release to act on type II cells, and on the mechanisms regulating the expression and activation of ErbB receptors in both fetal lung fibroblasts and type II cells. Additional projects address specific Hox genes in control of lung structural development.


Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research