Above Meets Beyond
For appointments, call 1.804.828.2467
Appointment Request 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
Fellow of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

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

    View recent publications: NCBI


    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