Dr. Roma Sehmi

Division of Respirology

Roma Sehmi

B.Sc., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine






Research Interests

Research interests are the role of mature eosinophils and their progenitor cells in the development of asthmatic responses.

Major contributions to research have included:

  1. effect of cytokines on eosinophil migrational responsiveness
  2. development of methods to accurately enumerate and follow phenotypic changes on hemopoietic progenitor cells in bone marrow, blood, cord blood and sputum samples following allergen exposure in allergic individuals.

Her current focus of interest is in studying the molecular mechanisms that stimulate migration of progenitor cells into the lung tissue following allergen challenge. This new and exciting area will not only widen our understanding of the cellular components of an allergic inflammatory response but may provide a further handle by which pharmacological intervention can control the tissue damage associated with allergic inflammatory responses.

Roma Sehmi has published 28 peer reviewed articles, 6 book chapters and 38abstracts to date and serves on the Ontario Thoracic Society Block Term review committee. She has received funding from various national and provincial sources including the CIHR and Ontario Thoracic Society.


Canadian Institutes of Health Research: "Transmigration pathways of CD34+ progenitor cells in allergic inflammation: from bone marrow to lung" (2002-2005)

Selected Publications

  1. Systemic aspects of allergic disease: bone marrow responses. J Allergy Clin Immunol (suppl) 106:S243-46, 2000
  2. The effects of inhaled budesonide on circulating eosinophil progenitors and their expression of cytokines after allergen challenge in atopic asthmatics. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 162:2139-44, 2000
  3. Regulation of IL-5 receptor on eosinophil progenitors in allergic inflammation: role of retinoic acid. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 124:246-48, 2001
  4. Retinoic acid modulates IL-5 receptor expression and selectively inhibits eosinophil-basophil differentiation of hemopoietic progenitor cells. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 109:307-13, 2002
  5. Allergen-induced increases in bone marrow T-lymphocytes and interleukin-5 expression in subjects with asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 166(5):883-9, 2002
  6. Distinct phenotypic adhesion molecule expression on human cord blood progenitors during early eosinophilic commitment: up-regulation of integrins. Scand J Immunol 56(2):161-7, 2002
  7. Cysteinyl leukotrienes promote human airway smooth muscle migration. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 166(5):738-42, 2002
  8. Pathogenesis of murine experimental allergic rhinitis; a study of local and systemic consequences of IL-5 deficiency. J Immunol. 168:3017-23, 2002
  9. Allergen-induced fluctuations in CC chemokine receptor 3 expression on bone marrow CD34+ cells from asthmatic subjects: significance for mobilization of hemopoietic progenitor cells in allergic inflammation. Immunology 109(4):536-46, 2003
  10. Anti-IL-5 (mepolizumab) therapy induces bone marrow eosinophil maturation and decreased eosinophil progenitors in the bronchial mucosa of atopic asthmatics. J Allergy Crit Care Med 111(4):714-9, 2003