PHA/AHA Post Doctoral Fellowship Award Winner 2005

George El Ferzli, MDGeorge El Ferzli, MD

University of Alabama, AL
Sponsor: Namasivayam Ambalavanan, MD
"Lung Assist Device in Neonatal Porcine Respiratory Failure: Effect on Pulmonary Histopathology and Lung Mechanics"
Term: July 1, 2005 - July 1, 2006

Summary of Research Project:

Lung Assist Device in Neonatal Porcine Respiratory Failure: Effect on Pulmonary Histopathology and Lung Mechanics

Dr. Ferzli’s research project both examines the damage of the ventilators, as well as looking into better devices that will cause less lung damage. His goals include producing better gas exchange and less lung damage in animal test subjects. He also wants the new device to be smaller and easier to use. Another problem found in infants with Pulmonary Hypertension is that many hospitals do not have the necessary equipment or knowledge to ventilate the infants and they must be transported else where. Dr. Ferzli hopes his device will be easier to use for all medical professionals.


Dr. George El-Ferzli began his career outside of the United States. He attended medical school at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, his home country. He was not immediately interested in pulmonary hypertension, but instead began his career in pediatrics. He came to America in 2002 for a fellowship in neonatology at the University of Alabama. As a resident he began examining the usage of mechanical ventilation pumps in infants. He found that in many cases, although the ventilation was necessary, the pumps actually caused further lung damage in the infants. “It’s a double edge sword,” he explained, “its necessary for doctors to ventilate, otherwise the baby will die, but at the same time mechanical ventilation can produce more lung injury.” In the future Dr. Ferzli plans to continue working with neonatal respiratory failure. He wants to save animal lung specimens for future molecular studies which will ideally enhance further understanding of respiratory failure, lung damage and pulmonary hypertension.


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