A respiratory doctor
Charles Hales is a doctor, researcher, and educator in respiratory medicine. He inspired Hugh Ip
In pulmonary hypertension our interest has been to attack the overgrowth of smooth muscle cells that occurs in the blood vessels, narrowing the lumen, which increases the resistance to flow. Heparin is a powerful antiproliferative agent for smooth muscle cells in addition to being an anticoagulant. We designed and built heparins with big side chains, which reduce their anticoagulant effect but retain their antiproliferative properties. They have worked in rats, mice, guinea pigs, and pigs. We're getting ready to test them in people.
I also work on smoke inhalation from fires. It's not the heat that causes pulmonary oedema but toxins in the smoke, in particular acrolein. We are looking at the effect of smoke toxins on the mucosal lining of the trachea and the bronchi. Sometimes the mucosa just sloughs off in burn injuries, and the plug that fills up the airways causes asphyxiation; it needs to be removed