American Lung Association Capitalizes on the Promise of Research

(November 14, 2011)

It’s been said that “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” The medical research supported by the American Lung Association does just that, by applying the most inventive and inquisitive medical minds to make a world free of lung disease a reality for future generations.

The American Lung Association Nationwide Research Program has recently released its Research Awards Nationwide 2011-2012 report that highlights research supported by the American Lung Association through its Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) and its Awards and Grants Program.

The American Lung Association Nationwide Research Program funds high quality research with the goal of uncovering effective prevention and treatments strategies as well as cures for lung disease. The Program supports basic, applied and socio-behavioral research related to lung health and is a fundamental part of the Lung Association’s mission to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.  

Lung disease is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for one in six deaths. More than 37 million people in the U.S. have chronic lung diseases, and alarmingly, more than seven million of these are children, burdened with asthma. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death among both men and women. And more than 13 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, while it’s estimated that an equal number have COPD, but have not been diagnosed.

Scientific research is clearly the front-line weapon in reversing the terrible toll of lung disease on our families and loved ones.

“These grants play a critical role in attracting and retaining talented scientists who are invested in improving the lung health of more than 37 million people living with chronic lung diseases,” said Norman H. Edelman, M.D., American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer.

In 2011-2012, the Lung Association is providing more than $5 million to support approximately 90 lung disease research projects. Previous medical advances made possible from the Lung Association’s research contributions have helped shed new light on a multitude of devastating lung diseases, touching the lives of millions of Americans.  

Research provides us all with hope that one day we will live in a world without lung disease.  One example is Dr. Lin Zhang of the University of Pittsburgh is.  As a result of his American Lung Association/CHEST Foundation award, Dr. Zhang identified the role of PUMA, a novel controller of apoptosis (cell death), in treating lung cancer.  Apoptosis is the normal bodily process of killing abnormal cells and when halted, uncontrolled cell growth and tumor formation may occur. Dr. Zhang’s research lead to the development of a new screening method to determine which anti-cancer agents could induce PUMA.

You can help researchers like Dr. Zhang, and many others build a future where ling disease is a distant memory. Your tax-deductible donation to the American Lung Association can help us continue to fund this lifesaving research.

Research Awards Nationwide 2011-2012 is available and searchable on the American Lung Association web site