The National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care


Professor of Medicine
Tufts and Harvard Medical Schools Boston, MA
Saturday, March 16
8:00 am

Bartolome R. Celli, MD graduated from Universidad Central de Venezuela, completed his training in Internal Medicine, and was Chief Medical Resident, at the Boston City Hospital. He then trained in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. Currently, he is Professor of Medicine at Tufts and Harvard Medical School. Together with his wife, Doris, they have raised 4 children, all of them now married with a total of 10 grandchildren ranging in age from 1 to 22 years. The greatest achievement of his life is to have helped raise and educate citizens capable of contributing to make the world a little better.  Bart and Doris have reside in Wellesley, Massachusetts for 35 years, where they have been active in their parish and community life.

Dr. Celli has published over 320 peer reviewed scientific papers, 375 abstracts and edited several books. His work includes studies on respiratory muscles and control of breathing that defined the interaction between upper extremity unsupported exercise and the respiratory muscles of the shoulder girdle. These studies prompted interest and subsequent studies that formalized the use of upper extremity exercise in the rehabilitation of patients with COPD. With his team, they have studied the response to systemic exercise in patients with COPD and the effect of intra-thoracic pressures on heart function. He directed two trials of non-invasive ventilation (negative pressure and positive pressure) on clinically meaningful COPD outcomes. He completed a series of studies to determine the relevance of static hyperinflation not just on lung mechanics (well-known for many years) but as an independent predictor of survival. The concept of the inspiratory fraction provided by the IC/TLC was first expressed from work in his group. The group he works with explored tissue micro-arrays for gene expression in emphysema versus mild COPD, serum proteomics and metabolomics in relation to clinically relevant outcomes in patients with COPD and smokers at risk for COPD.  Further, joined by excellent trainees and knowing that there is a lack of long observational cohorts of patients with COPD, they organized the BODE cohort of over 2000 patients, describing a significant body of novel clinical findings that have helped develop the field of COPD. The findings include the description of the BODE index as a predictor of mortality raising the concept of multidimensional compromise in COPD. In addition, the heterogeneity of COPD progression, the value of the 6 Minute walk distance and recently the relationship between co-morbidites such as lung cancer and COPD.

Dr. Celli has been the Chairman of the Committee that established the American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of COPD. In addition, he is in the Scientific Committee of the Global Obstructive Lung Disease initiative and currently serves in the Board of Directors of GOLD. He has also been Chairman of the Clinical Assembly of the ATS and President of the Massachusetts Thoracic Society and New England College of Chest Physicians. In the professional arena, although caring for patients provides him with unique pleasure, he believes his greatest achievement is to have personally helped mentor many young careers in Medicine. Ten Professors of Medicine, one Dean and two Vice-Deans of medical schools in the United States, Venezuela and Colombia are among the 65 individuals in whom he helped instill a love for the profession, a desire to generate new knowledge, and respect for our fellow humans and for the world at large. His trainees are located in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Japan and Latin America.

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