Our goal is to explore and elucidate mechanisms of disease initiation and progression caused by engineered nanoparticles. We also seek to identify physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials that trigger fibrotic or allergic reactions in the lung in order to provide information for the design of safer nanomaterials. Of particular interest is determining the pathogenic potential of nanomaterials in susceptible populations and individuals with pre-existing disease, especially asthma. Our research, funded by The National Insitute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), is integrated with a national Nanotechnology Health Implications Consortium (NCNHIR) comprised of NIEHS-funded investigators to collectively understand the health risks associated with nanotechnology. Our research provides fundamental information for determining the potential human health risks of emerging nanotechnologies, which will be essential for the design of safe nanotechnologies in the future.