A. Cortney Henderson, Ph.D.

Cortney Henderson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

UCSD Department of Medicine
9500 Gilman Drive, 0623A
La Jolla, CA 92093-0623

Office: MTF 240

Phone: (858)534-2790
Fax: (858)534-4812

Email: achenderson@ucsd.edu


1997 B.S.E. (Hons), Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics, Mercer University, Macon, GA
2002 Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA

Research & Professional Experience

1997 Graduate Teaching Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA
1998 - 1999 Graduate Research Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA
1999 - 2002 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA
2002 - 2003 Assistant Language Teacher, Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program, Yokohama, JAPAN
2004 - 2005 Postgraduate Research Physiologist, Division of Physiology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego
2005 -2009 Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow, Division of Physiology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego
2010 - Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego

Research Focus

My research has focused on performing noninvasive measurements in humans, using established techniques and novel functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, to study lung physiology in health and disease. For the last 10 years while at UCSD, I have used my strong background in biomedical engineering to aid in the development of novel magnetic resonance imaging techniques to quantify spatial maps of lung density, ventilation, perfusion, and ventilation-perfusion ratio. I have performed these measurements in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients and healthy control subjects while funded by a K99/R00 award. The overall goal of my K99/R00 proposal is to utilize these MRI techniques, combined with the multiple inert gas elimination technique (MIGET) and computed tomography (CT) imaging, to provide insight into how the different phenotypes of COPD, i.e., patients with predominantly emphysema versus predominantly airway disease, are mechanistically different. My research is multidisciplinary and involves working closely with a team of pulmonary physicians, radiologists, physicists, physiologists, and biomedical engineers.

Honors & Awards

1997 Outstanding Graduate in Biomedical Engineering Award, Mercer University
1998 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Fellow Award, Boston University
2004 - 2006 National Institute of Health, Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program Award
2005 - 2008 National Institute of Health, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Postdoctoral Fellows
2005 - 2006 American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Fellowship (Declined)
2006 "Transforming the Professoriate: Preparing Women for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering", Professional Development Workshop sponsored by National Science Foundation, Virginia Tech (20% acceptance rate)
2006 - 2008 National Institute of Health, Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program Award Renewal
2008 - 2010 National Institute of Health, Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program Award Renewal
2009-2014 National Institute of Health, K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award 
2013-      UCSD Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) Emerging Investigator Award


1. Sharma R, Henderson C, Warren GW, and SL Burkett. Study of electrical properties of polymeric materials using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. J Appl Polym Sci 68(4): 553-560, 1998.
2. Gray RI, Ott DE, Henderson AC, Cochran SA, and EA Roth. Severe local hypothermia from laparoscopic gas evaporative jet cooling: a mechanism to explain clinical observations. JSLS 3(3): 171-7, 1999.
3. Ingenito EP, Berger RL, Henderson AC, Reilly JJ, Tsai L, and A Hoffman. Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction using tissue engineering principles. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 167(5): 771-8, 2003.
4. Hoffman A, Henderson AC, Tsai L, and E Ingenito. Physiologic responses of sheep to two different methods of papain exposure. Inhal Toxicol 15(8): 761-80, 2003.
5. Henderson AC, Ingenito EP, Atileh H, Israel E, Suki B, and KR Lutchen. How does airway inflammation modulate asthmatic airway constriction?  An antigen challenge study. J Appl Physiol 95(2): 873-82, discussion p. 863 (featured as a Selected Contribution in the "Airway Hyperresponsiveness: From Molecules to Bedside" Highlighted Topics series), 2003.
6. Black LD, Henderson AC, Atileh H, Israel E, Ingenito EP, and KR Lutchen. Relating maximum airway dilation and subsequent reconstriction to reactivity in human lungs. J Appl Physiol 96(5): 1808-14, 2004.
7. Henderson AC, Levin DL, Hopkins SR, Olfert IM, and RB Buxton. Steep head-down tilt has persisting effects on the distribution of pulmonary blood flow. J Appl Physiol 101(2): 583-9, 2006.
8. Henderson AC, Ingenito EP, Moy ML, Reilly JJ, Salcedo ES, and KR Lutchen. Dynamic lung mechanics in late-stage emphysema before and after lung volume reduction surgery. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 155(3):234-42, 2007. Epub June 2006.
9. Hopkins SR, Henderson AC, Levin DL, Yamada K, Arai T, Buxton RB, Prisk GK. Vertical gradients in regional lung density and perfusion in the human lung: the Slinky® effect. J Appl Physiol 103(1):240-8, 2007.
10. Prisk GK, Yamada K, Henderson AC, Arai T, Levin D, Buxton RB, Hopkins SR. Pulmonary perfusion in the prone and supine postures in the normal human lung. J Appl Physiol 103(3):883-94, 2007.
11. Arai TJ, Henderson AC, Dubowitz DJ, Levin DL, Friedman PJ, Buxton RB, Prisk GK, Hopkins SR. Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction does not contribute to pulmonary blood flow heterogeneity in normoxia in normal supine humans. J Appl Physiol 106(4):1057-64, 2009.
12. Henderson AC, Prisk GK, Levin DL, Hopkins SR, Buxton RB. Characterizing pulmonary blood flow distribution measured using arterial spin labeling. NMR Biomed 22(10):1025-1035, 2009.
13. Burnham KJ, Arai TJ, Dubowitz DJ, Henderson AC, Holverda S, Buxton RB, Prisk GK, Hopkins SR. Pulmonary perfusion heterogeneity is increased by sustained, heavy exercise in humans. J Appl Physiol 107(5):1559-68, 2009.
14. Hopkins SR, Arai TJ, Henderson AC, Levin DL, Buxton RB, Prisk GK. Lung volume does not alter the distribution of pulmonary perfusion in dependent lung in supine humans. J Physiol 588(Pt 23):4759-68, 2010.
15. Sá RC, Cronin M, Henderson AC, Holverda S, Theilmann RJ, Arai TA, Dubowitz DJ, Hopkins SR, Buxton RB, Prisk GK. Vertical distribution of specific ventilation in normal supine humans measured using oxygen-enhanced proton MRI. J Appl Physiol 109(6):1950-9, 2010.
16. Arai TJ, Prisk GK, Holverda S, Sá RC, Theilmann RJ, Henderson AC, Cronin MV, Buxton RB, Hopkins SR. Magnetic resonance imaging quantification of pulmonary perfusion using calibrated arterial spin labeling. J Vis Exp 51, 2011.
17. Henderson AC, Sá RC, Barash IA, Holverda S, Buxton RB, Hopkins SR, Prisk GK. Rapid intravenous infusion of 20 mL/kg saline alters the distribution of perfusion in healthy supine humans. Respir Physiol Neurobiol (In Press, 2012, doi:10.1016/j.resp.2011.12.013).
18. Henderson AC, Sá RC, Theilmann RJ, Buxton RB, Prisk GK, Hopkins SR. The gravitational distribution of ventilation-perfusion ratio is more uniform in prone than supine posture in the normal human lung. J Appl Physiol (In Press), 2013. PMID: 23620488.