Where Above Meets Beyond
You Can Control Asthma Now
Where young athletes get better
Take a Tour
For appointments, call 1.804.828.2467 Request Appointment Emergency Room Tour Our Facilities

Bruce K. Rubin, MEngr, MD, MBA, FRCPC

Bruce K. Rubin, MEngr, MD, MBA, FRCPC

Jessie Ball duPont Distinguished
Professor and Chair
Department of Pediatrics
Physician-in-Chief, CHoR

Cystic Fibrosis Center
Pulmonary Medicine

Children's Pavilion

Appointments: (804) 828-CHOR (2467)
Fax: Clinic: (804) 828-2983 Office: (804) 828-2062

Board Certifications

Pediatric Pulmonology

Medical School

Tulane University School of Medicine


Tulane University and The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada


The Hospital for Sick Children


BS: Tulane University (math and physics)
MS: Tulane University (biomedical engineering)
MBA: Wake Forest University, Babcock School of Business
Rhodes Scholar, Oxford University, England

Areas of Interest

Mucus clearance disorders
The technology dependent child
Aerosol therapy
Cystic fibrosis
Severe asthma
Chronic cough
Plastic bronchitis

Research Interests

View Rubin Lab website.

Airway inflammation. We study relationships among inflammatory cells and mediators, infection, mucus secretion, and quality of life; and the mechanisms causing squamous metaplasia and goblet cell hyperplasia. We develop and test new therapies from cell and tissue culture, to animal studies, to clinical trials.

Secretory hyperesponsiveness. Excessive mucus secretion is characteristic of diseases like asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, middle lobe syndrome and plastic bronchitis. We study the mechanisms of secretory hyperesponsiveness, characterize the biophysical and transport properties of mucus, and evaluate new therapies with collaborators from around the world. We maintain the International Registry for Plastic Bronchitis.

Nasal and sinus disease. We have studied the physical and transport properties of mucus and sputum for three decades. We have formed a sino-nasal research group with investigators from the Rubin lab and the departments of Ear, Nose and Throat, Allergy, Radiology, Nursing, Emergency Medicine and the School of Engineering to develop new ways to measure the impact of sinus disease and test new therapies including novel aerosol delivery systems.

Research Projects

  • The goblet cell as an immune effector cell in the airway
  • Aerosol dapsone for therapy of inflammatory airway diseases
  • CF nasal microbiome and effect of antibiotics delivered as nasal aerosols
  • Difference in inflammatory and immune response comparing nasal and bronchial epithelia in culture
  • Longitudinal changes in CF sputum properties, inflammation, and pulmonary function
  • Airway squamous metaplasia and transforming growth factor beta
  • Airway disease in persons with ichthyosis and potential therapies
  • The International plastic bronchitis registry to investigate the natural history and potential therapies for plastic bronchitis
  • Anticholinergic medications as potential airway immunomodulators
  • Aerosol therapy and the patient-device interface
  • Effect of nocturnal nasal humidification and flow on recovery from an exacerbation of CF airway disease
  • Airway Tissue Factor expression in inflammatory airway diseases
  • Periostin, interleukin 13, and severe asthma

    Recent Publications

    Peer reviewed publications since 2013:

    Williams R, Rubin BK. Aerosol therapy for the therapy of CF. Chapter 20 in Hodson and Geddes Cystic Fibrosis 4th Ed Diana Bilton, Andrew Bush eds. Taylor & Francis Group, London. 2015 pp 279- 297.

    Rubin BK and Moskowitz WB. Plastic bronchitis. In the ERS Handbook of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine. Ed. Ernst Eber, Fabio Midulla. European Respiratory Society Publications. Sheffield, UK. 2013; pp 577-81.

    Rubin BK, Henke MO. Mucus-controlling drug therapy. in Doug Gardenhire Ed. Rau's Respiratory Care Pharmacology. 9th Edition. Elsevier Press 2014

    Rubin BK, Williams RW. Inhalational Therapy. Chapter 39.20 In the Postgraduate Textbook of Pediatrics. Eds: Piyush Gupta, PSN Menon, Siddarth Ramji Ramji, Rakesh Lodha. 2015 pp. 1723-25.

    Daviskas E, Rubin BK. Effect of inhaled dry powder mannitol on mucus and its clearance. Expert Rev Respir Med. 2013;7:65-75

    Irwin RS, Augustyn N, French CT, Rice J, Tedeschi V, Welch SJ; Editorial Leadership Team. Spread the word about the journal in 2013: from citation manipulation to invalidation of patient-reported outcomes measures to renaming the Clara cell to new journal features. CHEST 2013;143:1-4.

    Teves ME, Zhang Z, Costanzo RM, Henderson SC, Corwin FD, Zweit J, Sundaresan G, Subler M, Salloum FN, Rubin BK, Strauss JF. Spag17 is essential for motile cilia function and neonatal survival. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013;48:765-72

    Rottier BL, Rubin BK. Asthma medication delivery: Mists and myths. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2013;14:112-8

    Morgan WJ, Wagener JS, Yegin A, Pasta DJ, Millar SJ, Konstan MW; Scientific Advisory Group, investigators; coordinators of the Epidemiologic Study of Cystic Fibrosis. Probability of treatment following acute decline in lung function in children with cystic fibrosis is related to baseline pulmonary function. J Pediatr. 2013;163:1152-57

    Mayer-Hamblett N, Rosenfeld M, Treggiari MM, Konstan MW, Retsch-Bogart G, Morgan W, Wagener J, Gibson RL, Khan U, Emerson J, Thompson V, Elkin EP, Ramsey BW; EPIC; ESCF Investigators. Standard care versus protocol based therapy for new onset Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2013;48:943-53

    de Oliveira-Maul JP, de Carvalho HB, Miyuki Goto D, Mendonca Maia R, Flo C, Barnabe V, Franco DR, Benabou S, Rodrigues Perracini M, Jacob-Filho W, Nascimento Saldiva PH, Lorenzi-Filho G, Rubin BK, Kondo Nakagawa N.Aging, diabetes, and hypertension are associated with decreased nasal mucociliary clearance. CHEST 2013;143:1091-97.

    Hoffer-Schaefer A, Rozycki HJ, Yopp MA, Rubin BK. Guaifenesin has no effect on sputum volume or sputum properties in adolescents and adults with an acute respiratory tract infection. Resp Care 2014;59:631-36

    Bitsko MJ, Everhart RS, Rubin BK. The adolescent with asthma. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2014;15:146-53

    McNamara DG, Asher MI, Rubin BK, Stewart A, Byrnes CA. Heated humidification improves clinical outcomes compared to a heat-and-moisture exchanger in children with tracheostomies. Respir Care. 2014;59:46-53

    Strickland SL, Rubin BK, Drescher GS, Haas CF, O'Malley CA, Volsko TA, Branson RD, Hess DR. AARC Clinical practice guideline: Effectiveness of nonpharmacologic airway clearance techniques in hospitalized patients. Resp. Care 2013;58:2187-93

    Watanabe K, Shinkai M, Goto H, Yoshikawa S, Yamaguchi N, Hara Y, Shinoda M, Moriyama Y, Rubin BK, Ishigatsubo Y, Kaneko T. Chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel after failure of primary chemotherapy for advanced thymic carcinoma. A report of three cases and review of the literature. Tumori. 2013;99:172e-76e.

    Nicola ML, Carvalho HB, Yoshida CT, Anjos FD, Nakao M, de Paula Santos U, Morais Cardozo KH, Carvalho VM, Pinto E, Poliselli Farsky SH, Nascimento Saldiva PH, Rubin BK, Nakagawa NK. Young "healthy" smokers have functional and inflammatory changes in the nasal and the lower airways. CHEST 2014;145:998-1005.

    Rubin BK. Cystic fibroses myths mistakes and dogma. Paediatr Resp Rev 2014;15:113-16

    Schmidt JH, Priftis K, Henke MO, Rubin BK. Secretory hyperresponsiveness and mucus hypersecretion. CHEST 2014;146:496-507

    Rubin BK. Secretion properties, clearance, and therapy in airway disease. Translational Resp Med. 2014;2:6-11 DOI: 10.1186/2213-0802-2-6

    Haydour Q, Alahdab F, Farah M, Barrionuevo P, Vertigan AE, Newcombe PA, Pringsheim T, Chang AB, Rubin BK, McGarvey L, Weir KA, Altman KW, Feinstein A, Murad MH, Irwin RS. Management and diagnosis of psychogenic cough, habit cough, and tic cough: A systematic review. CHEST 2014;146:355-372

    Rubin BK, Williams RW. Emerging aerosol drug delivery strategies: From bench to clinic. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2014;75:141-48.

    Tokita E, Tanabe T, Asano K, Suzaki H, Rubin BK. Club cell 10-kDa protein attenuates airway mucus hypersecretion and inflammation. Eur Respir J. 2014;44(4):1002-10

    Tanabe T, Shimokawaji T, Kanoh S, Rubin BK. IL-33 stimulates CXCL8/IL-8 secretion in goblet cells but not normally differentiated airway cells. Clin Exp Allergy. 2014;44:540-52

    Rubin BK, Williams RW. Aerosolized antibiotics for non-CF bronchiectasis. Respiration 2014;22:177-184

    Watanabe K, Shinkai M, Shinoda M, Hara Y, Yamaguchi N, Rubin BK, Ishigatsubo Y, Kaneko T. Measurement of eNO with portable analyzer might improve the management of persistent cough at primary care practice in Japan. Clin Respir J. 2014 Oct 13. doi: 10.1111/crj.12228

    Irwin RS, French CT, Lewis SZ, Diekemper RL, Gold PM; CHEST Expert Cough Panel; CHEST Expert Cough Panel. Overview of the Management of Cough: CHEST Guideline and Expert Panel Report. Chest 2014;146(4):885-89.

    Rubin BK. Asthma myths, controversies, and dogma. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2014 Sep 6. pii: S1526-0542(14)00102-X. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2014.09.001

    Rubin BK. Aerosol therapy for children: Unhelpful myths and future directions. Resp Drug Deliv 2015 (in press)

    Vertigan AE, Murad MH, Pringsheim T, Feinstein A, Chang AB, Newcombe PA, Rubin BK, McGarvey LP, Weir W, Altman KW, Weinberger M, Irwin RS, on behalf of the CHEST Expert Cough Panel. Psychogenic, habit, and tic cough in adult and pediatric populations: CHEST guidelines and expert panel report. CHEST 2015 (in press)

    Lewis SZ, Diekemper RL, French CT, Gold PM, Irwin RS; CHEST Expert Cough Panel; CHEST Expert Cough Panel. Methodologies for the development of the management of cough: CHEST guideline and expert panel report. CHEST 2014;146(5):1395-402.

    Canning BJ, Chang AB, Bolser DC, Smith JA, Mazzone SB, McGarvey L; CHEST Expert Cough Panel; CHEST Expert Cough Panel. Anatomy and neurophysiology of cough: CHEST Guideline and Expert Panel report. CHEST 2014;146(6):1633-48.

    Bennett WD, Kala A, Duckworth H, Zeman KL, Wu J, Henderson A, Yopp MA, Rubin BK. Effect of a single 1200 Mg Dose Of Mucinex On mucociliary and cough clearance during an acute respiratory tract infection

    Boulet L-P, Remy R. Coeytaux RR, McCrory DC, French CT, Chang AB, Birring SS, Smith J, Diekemper RL, Rubin BK, Irwin RS, on behalf of the CHEST Expert Cough Panel. Tools for assessing outcomes in studies of chronic cough: CHEST guideline and expert panel report. CHEST 2014 Dec 18. doi: 10.1378/chest.14-2506.

    Brant TCS, Yoshida CT, Carvalho TdeS, Nicola ML, Martins JA, Braga LM, de Oliveira RC, Leyton V, de Andre CS, Saldiva PHN, Rubin BK, Nakagawa NK. Mucociliary clearance, airway inflammation and nasal symptoms in urban motorcycle-drivers. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2014;69(12):867-70.

    Hara Y, Shinkai M, Rubin BK. Biomarkers for staging and evaluating therapy for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Clin Pulm Med 2015 (in press)

    Rozycki SK, Dixon FP, Yopp MA, Maxvold NJ, Rubin BK. Endotracheal tube performance using a novel biorealistic tracheal model. Resp Care 2015 (in press)

    Tanabe T, Shimokawaji T, Kanoh S, Rubin BK. Secretory phospholipases A2 are secreted from ciliated cells and increase mucin and eicosanoid secretion from goblet cells. CHEST 2015 (in press) doi: 10.1378/chest.14-0258.


    Dr. Rubin was named chair of the Department of Pediatrics in 2009 and holds a professorship in the VCU School of Engineering. Dr. Rubin came to VCU after 12 years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he was professor and vice chair for research in the pediatrics department, professor of physiology and pharmacology and professor of biomedical engineering with the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.

    Dr. Rubin is a pediatric pulmonary expert and was the recipient of a number of honors, including the 2008 Forrest M. Bird Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award, a top research honor given by the American Respiratory Care Foundation and the American Association of Respiratory Care. He is on the editorial board of 12 pulmonary journals, has published more than 200 research papers and chapters and holds five patents. He is listed in Who's Who in Science and Engineering and Best Doctors in America.

    Dr. Rubin's specific clinical and research interests include cystic fibrosis, childhood asthma and other chronic lung diseases. Dr. Rubin and his research team study aerosol therapy for lung diseases, airway inflammation and excessive mucus that contributes to lung disease.

    Prior to joining the Wake Forest University faculty, Dr. Rubin was a professor and clinician at St. Louis University School of Medicine; at the University of Alberta, Canada, department of pediatrics; and at Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario's department of pediatrics.

    Dr. Rubin received his undergraduate Bachelor of Science in math and physics, Master of Engineering and medical degrees from Tulane University in New Orleans. He was a Rhodes Scholar, conducting postdoctoral work in biomedical engineering at Oxford University. He also earned an MBA at Wake Forest University.

    In addition, Dr. Rubin is an enthusiastic magician, with membership in the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Rubin said that, as he has done in the past, he intends to teach magic to medical school interns and residents.

Find A Provider

Get Directions

For Appointments,
Call 1.804.828.2467.

Facebook Twitter YouTube