Adam Wanner, M.D.

Principal Investigator

Adam Wanner, M.D., discovered the area of asthma in which he wanted to specialize at a medical conference 30 years ago. "At the conference everyone was talking about airway smooth muscle—except for the pathologists, who were the ones who actually looked at the lung," he says. "They were talking about how in asthma, there was too much mucus being produced, and there was something wrong with the bronchial circulation. I decided to look at these areas, and I've maintained that interest ever since."

Dr. Wanner, Principal Investigator for the ACRC at the University of Miami/University of South Florida, has developed animal models to conduct his studies, which also have focused on the effects of common asthma drugs on mucus clearance and bronchial circulation. "We've shown that beta agonists, a mainstay in asthma treatment, have a beneficial effect on the clearance of mucus in the lung, in addition to their role in relieving bronchospasm," he notes. "And our research on airway circulation may give us a better handle on determining the degree of inflammation in asthma."

Dr. Wanner is also conducting research on the effects of inhaled steroids on airway circulation, and the interaction between steroid hormones and beta agonists in the airway.

He recently completed a study on the effects of a school-based intervention on asthma outcomes. The study was conducted in 15 elementary and middle schools, which served mainly low-income families. The researchers identified children with asthma and offered them education and treatment, based on the National Institutes of Health guidelines. Dr. Wanner is Joseph Weintraub Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami.

Long active in the American Thoracic Society, Dr. Wanner was President of ATS in 2001-2002. He has been active on a number of editorial boards, and has served on and chaired several NIH study sections. He has chaired the VA Merit Review Board for Pulmonary Disease and has had uninterrupted federal grant support for the past 30 years.