Lung Champion - Nicholas Anthonisen, MD, PhD

Chair, 1999-2010, American Lung Association ACRC Network Steering Committee

(January 29, 2010)

The American Lung Association would like to recognize and pay its deepest thanks to one of our most highly respected and valued volunteers for his service and dedication.  Dr. Nicholas Anthonisen is a true lung champion.

For over 50 years, Nicholas Anthonisen has been instrumental in advancing the treatment and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

Dr. Anthonisen was the Chair of the original National Institutes of Health's Lung Health Study, which uncovered the importance of smoking cessation as the primary intervention in early COPD.  He was also involved in research that found the benefits of oxygen therapy and bronchodilators - now the standard drug therapy - for COPD patients, as well as, discovering that COPD exacerbations could be well treated with antibiotics.Nicholas Anthonisen

For the last ten years, Dr. Anthonisen has been the Chair of the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRC). The ACRC aims to conduct large clinical trials that will have a direct impact on patient care and asthma treatment.  

Since its inception in 1999, the ACRC has completed seven trials and has published 26 papers in highly respected, peer-review journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine.  The ACRC network has also successfully secured funding from both the NIH and industry, affirming the network's value and credibility as a research organization. 

"Over the past 25 years, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Nick Anthonisen as he has led the community of pulmonary clinical investigators through many of the most important research programs in COPD and asthma,"  said Bob Wise, Director of the ALA-ACRC Data Coordinating Center at Johns Hopkins University.  "He is a role model and mentor for all of us, demonstrating unwavering personal integrity, scientific rigor and intellectual generosity."

Dr. Anthonisen was the Dean of the University of Manitoba Medical School from 1988 to 1999 and continues to be a professor of medicine at this institution.

Norman Edelman, American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer praises his colleague, "Nick led the steering committee with the wisdom of a great scientist, the will of a dean and the patience a cold acclimatized Canadian."

The tremendous success of ACRC could not have been achieved without the guidance of Nicholas Anthonisen.  His leadership, commitment and dedication are one of a kind and will surely be missed.  As he retires as chair of the ACRC steering committee, the American Lung Association thanks him for his service and wishes him the best in all of his future endeavors.