Lung Association Awards More Than $5 Million for Medical Research

(July 6, 2011)

At the American Lung Association, working to find better treatments and cures for lung diseases is a cornerstone of our mission. In 2011-2012 we are providing more than $5 million in funding for quality research to support our lifesaving mission.

Awards and Grants
Through its Awards and Grants Program, the Lung Association will fund 70 grants, totaling $2.9 million. The Awards and Grants Program supports mainly trainees and junior investigators. This helps encourage them to make a long-term commitment to lung disease, helping to maintain an adequate supply of scientists dedicated to lung disease.

Studies currently being funded by this program include the use of immune cells to identify novel genes that regulate lung inflammation, the validation of a biomarker to determine who will respond/fail to lung cancer treatment, and the exploration of the impact of advertising on waterpipe tobacco (also referred to as “hookah”) use in young adults.

ACRC Network
The Lung Association is granting $2.6 million in base support to the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network, the nation's largest nonprofit clinical research center dedicated to asthma treatment research. The ACRC conducts large clinical trials that will have a direct impact on patient care and asthma treatment. One of the studies currently being conducted by the ACRC is whether soy effectively treats patients with poorly controlled asthma. Another study is determining whether the treatment of sinusitis (chronic disease of the nose and sinuses) with nasal steroids can improve asthma control.

Asthma Foundation
This year, the American Lung Association has partnered with the American Asthma Foundation to support the Senior Investigator Award. The award is a three-year grant of $250,000 per year for non-pulmonologists conducting new asthma research. Roger Tsien, Ph.D., a 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner from the University of California, San Diego, received this year’s award. Dr. Tsien’s research focuses on the workings of proteases: ubiquitous enzymes involved in many biological processes including the inflammation that at the heart of asthma.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity for the American Lung Association to help support research that may lead to the development of a system for delivery of protease blockers as a new therapeutic tool for asthma,” said Dr. Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association.

The American Lung Association will release information on its entire 2011-2012 Research Portfolio this October through its Research Awards Nationwide publication.

Call for submissions
The American Lung Association is encouraging applications for the 2012-2013 grant cycle. If you think your organization could benefit from a one of these grants, visit www.lung.org/finding-cures/grant-opportunities/. The application deadline is October 20, 2011.