Katharine Black, M.D.
Dr. Katharine Black is a pulmonologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Program. She is a physician and research scientist in the MGH Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Black’s clinical activities focus on patients with fibrotic lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and connective tissue-associated ILD; she also follows hospitalized patients who have undergone a lung transplant. Dr. Black is currently not seeing new clinic patients, as she is focusing on research in the fibrotic lung diseases. Working in the research laboratory of Dr. Andrew Tager, she investigates the mechanisms through which IPF, scleroderma and other fibrotic diseases develop and progress. Her main focus is on the interaction between the epithelial cells that normally line the lung and the fibroblasts that lay down extracellular matrix leading to fibrosis. Current understanding of pulmonary fibrosis suggests that injury to the epithelial cells sends signals that drive the increase in fibroblast numbers, and the increase in the scar tissue that these cells form, that characterize pulmonary fibrosis. Using patient samples as much as possible, Dr. Black is working to identify these signals, with the goal of devising treatments to block them and thereby prevent fibrosis progression.