Research provides hope for millions of people living with asthma, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, and other lung diseases. Here are research projects we're sponsoring right here in Colorado:

 Fabienne Gally


National Jewish Health, Denver, CO
Biomedical Research Grant

Protein Could Boost Immune System Against Cigarette Smoke
Cigarette smoke is known to impair the immune system, reducing the body’s defense against bacterial infections. A novel protein known as the Fatty Acid Binding Protein 5 (FABP5), has been identified as having a central role in modulating natural immunity. The concentration of this protein is reduced by cigarette smoke exposure. The researchers will examine the potential involvement of FABP5 in the reduction of lung immune response resulting from cigarette smoke exposure in white blood cells called monocytes. Dr. Gally and team expect that the addition of FABP5 will protect monocytes against bacterial infection when exposed to cigarette smoke.


National Jewish Health, Denver, CO
Biomedical Research Grant

Importance of Natural Killer Cells in Prenatally-induced Asthma Predisposition
Allergic asthma develops as a result of abnormal immune response to inhaled allergens. Prenatal and early childhood exposures are likely to have the greatest effect on asthma risk, because they act during the programming of immune and other cells. We will explore how the disposition to asthma develops prenatally. Our previous research found that the exposure of pregnant mice to diesel exhaust particles predisposes their offspring to asthma development. This was found to be associated with activation of certain white blood cells called natural killer cells. Our goal is to study the role of natural killer cells in diesel exhaust-induced asthma susceptibility.


National Jewish Health, Denver, CO
Biomedical Research Grant

How Does Smoke Impair A Protein That Protects Against Lung Injury?
Cigarette smoke is the most common cause of emphysema but the way in which it causes emphysema is still not fully understood. Research has suggested that a protein called CRIF-1 protects the lung's air sacs, known as alveoli, from injury caused by cigarette smoke. However, this protection seems to wane as emphysema progresses. We will determine the way in which chronic cigarette smoke impairs CRIF-1 as emphysema progresses by investigating injuries to the alveoli in patients with mild, moderate and severe emphysema. Our study will lead to much needed treatments to slow emphysema's development.

Asthma Clinical Research Network The American Lung Association is proud to have created a network of centers focused directly on asthma and the care and progression of asthma patients. With 20 centers nationwide, including one at National Jewish in Denver, we are making an impact right in our own backyard!

DeSouza Research Award is made possible courtesy of a restricted bequest left by Mr. James L. DeSouza of Phoenix, Arizona. It focuses on tuberculosis and related lung disease research.

See the research that the Lung Association is funding on a national level.