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Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Welcome to the Division of Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. We are proud of our tradition of delivering excellent patient care and educating outstanding pulmonary and critical care specialists for both practice in the private world and for academic service. 2016 marks our fifth consecutive year of being in the top 20 programs in the nation on the U.S. News & World Report survey (#17 this year.)  Led by Mario Castro, MD, the division has doubled in size in recent years, in both the number of faculty and the number of fellows in our program. The division excels in all three missions of the School of Medicine: clinical care, education and research.

The division boasts the largest Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center in the Midwest. We are also nationally certified as a center of excellence for multiple conditions: Pulmonary Hypertension, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, and Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Syndrome.


Our ACGME accredited Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship Program has a 100% board pass rate for all boards over the past 5 years, and trains our young men and women to either enter clinical practice or become successful academic physicians. All of our fellows are active in clinical research and present their work at national meetings. Numerous of them have launched successful academic careers with national reputations for the work that they began during their fellowship training. Our faculty members have co-chaired the Cardio-Pulmonary module for pre-clinical medical students for over a decade. We are also very active in problem-based learning groups for the pre-clinical students. We oversee the required critical care selective for all medical students who matriculate at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Our division is responsible for administration of the Medical Center's Zamierowski Institute for Experiential Learning, the region's premier simulation education center; we oversee curriculum development and execution of simulation education for the School of Medicine, the School of Allied Health, the School of Nursing, the University of Kansas Hospital, and the Graduate Medical Education program.

Members of the division are recognized for their teaching, and have won the highest teaching awards in the institution: The Rainbow Award (given by the Medical Student Assembly), the Ruth Bohan Teaching Professorship (most prestigious teaching award voted by faculty), and the W.T. Kemper Teaching Fellowship.  Additionally, the annual Internal Medicine Teaching Awards for both faculty and fellows have come to Pulmonary and Critical Care division members on numerous occasions.


We have a robust program of clinical investigation, with specific interests in the following conditions:

Sepsis - We are highly active in outcomes research and research into the delivery of evidence-based care. Specific areas of interest include outcomes of sepsis treatment in rural settings, determinants of outcome in the quarternary medical center, use of electronic early warning systems for sepsis diagnosis, and outcomes in patients with specific conditions, such as hematological malignancies and pulmonary hypertension. We have also worked with members of the School of Engineering at Kansas State University to develop agent based models of innate immunity in sepsis.

Pulmonary Hypertension - We have a busy clinical trials program in pulmonary hypertension. Additionally, our division's Director of Research, Navneet Dhillon, PhD, holds three NIH RO1 awards for evaluating basic mechanisms of pulmonary hypertension in patients with HIV infection.

Cystic Fibrosis - Our CF center is a member of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Trials Development Network. We have numerous ongoing therapeutic trials. Additionally, section members lead a national multi-center study on the effect of tele-coaching on medication adherence. We use CF genomics studies to inform our mechanistic basic and translational studies into mechanisms of CF pathophysiology. Our CF section members collaborate with the Department of Pharmacology in the development and testing of nanoparticle deposition of therapeutics.

Interstitial Lung Disease - We have a very robust clinical trials program in pulmonary fibrosis.

Asthma - The KU Asthma Center focuses on patient-centered outcomes research. Our Asthma Complications in Exercise and Sports (ACES) program focuses on specialized treatment of recreational and competitive athletes of all ages. As an integral component of our ACES program, we run the nation's largest study on the study of Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) in competitive athletes at NCAA Division I, II, and III universities.

Hemodynamic monitoring - We are national leaders in the adoption and study of non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring in shock resuscitation.

The division's research is funded by the NIH, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the CHEST Foundation, and other funding agencies, as well as industry sponsors.

Last modified: Jan 16, 2020
Contact Us

Dr. Mario Castro

Mario Castro, MD, MPH

Division Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Vice Chair for Clinical and Translational Research

Director, Rainbow Clinical and Translational Science Unit, Frontiers

University of Kansas School of Medicine

Patient Care


In partnership with The University of Kansas Hospital, our Pulmonary program is nationally ranked in the top 50, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2019-20 Best Hospitals list. Our clinical affiliations include:

Learn more about patient care.