Amy L Firth, PhD

Editorial Board Member

Department of Medicine
University of Southern California

Contact Amy L Firth, PhD

Department / University Information


Amy Firth is currently an independent tenure-track Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) with a primary appointment in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine and a secondary appointment in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. She received both her M.Sc. in Pharmacology and Ph.D. in Pulmonary Physiology and Ion Channel Regulation at the University of Bath, UK. For two years, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at UC San Diego where she studied pathogenic mechanisms contributing to Pulmonary Hypertension. For this work she was runner-up in the American Heart Association’s Cournand and Comroe Young Investigator Award. This was followed by a Postdoctoral Research Associate position in Professor Inder Verma’s laboratory at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA. With support from a CIRM Postdoctoral Fellowship, Dr. Firth focused her research on the development and study of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)- based disease models of human lung disease. To this end, she pioneered approaches for the generation of iPSCs and their robust differentiation to mature respiratory epithelium. Her study showing the development of multiciliated respiratory epithelium from iPSC, published in PNAS (2014), enables the improved and unprecedented study of pulmonary ciliopathies in a human iPSC-based system. In addition, utilizing state of the art gene editing technologies she corrected a disease causing mutation in iPSC she generated from somatic cells of patients with cystic fibrosis and was able to show functional recovery in differentiated epithelial cells; this work was published in Cell Reports (2015). During her time at Salk, Amy was awarded the Caroline tum Suden/Francis A. Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award from the American Physiology Society. She currently has 33 peer-reviewed original research papers, 25 reviews/editorials/book chapters and was chief editor of a book entitled “Lung Stem Cells” which will be published by Springer in July 2015. In 2016, Amy accepted her position at USC. She is now establishing her laboratory to focus on utilizing patient-derived iPSC and state-of-the-art gene editing technologies, such as CRISPR, to a) model and study mechanisms of lung disease development and b) investigate approaches for tissue regeneration and stem cell-mediated repair of the airway epithelium.  

Research Interest

Her research interest is to create a reproducible and effective way to study human lung development and disease in a dish.