Asthma Research | American Lung Association

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Asthma Research

Asthma research helps us understand how the disease is caused, how it develops and how it is best treated. Research can improve the quality of everyday life for those diagnosed with asthma.

The American Lung Association is committed to funding asthma research. Our Awards and Grants Program funds top-notch researchers at important career crossroads to gain long-term commitment to lung health and disease research. Without the life-long dedication of lung researchers, important and much-needed discoveries would not be possible. In addition to the Awards and Grants Program, the Lung Association funds the Airways Clinical Research Centers Network, which implements patient-centered clinical trials, and has helped to change the nature of asthma patient care since its inception in 2000.

Some of the current topics American Lung Association funded researchers are investigating include understanding the immune system’s role in asthma, the effect of mold on severe asthma; improving treatment of severe asthma in children, and studying genes and their role in controlling the immune response. We believe that all of these studies could lead to improved therapy and quality of life for people with asthma.

Thanks to the medical breakthroughs led by Lung Association researchers and their colleagues, we have made significant contributions to the field of asthma. Below are some of our current asthma researchers and their studies. Meet the entire research team and learn more about the research we fund.

Asthma Research Studies

See some of the current research projects we are funding:

  • Nora Barrett, M.D.
    Understanding Role Receptor Involved in Lung Inflammation Plays in Asthma
    American Lung Association researcher Nora Barrett is studying the recently discovered cysLT receptor GPR99 and determine the way in which it controls lung inflammation.
  • Sangwoon Chung, Ph.D.
    Deepening Our Understanding of Immune System's Role in Asthma
    American Lung Association researcher Sangwoon Chung is studying a protein called FoxO1, which has a crucial role in a worsening type 2 immune responses.
  • Amy Firth, Ph.D.
    Harnessing Power of a Protein to Improve Lung Repair Following Injury
    American Lung Association researcher Amy Firth is studying how Claudin 18.1 influences function of airway stem cells, which are able to differentiate into specialized cell types to promote repair after injury.
  • Sunit Jariwala, M.D.
    Developing and Testing Software Tool to Help Manage Children's Asthma
    American Lung Association researcher Sunit Jariwala is expanding the existing ASTHMA-Educator software program to include pediatric patients to investigate improved asthma outcomes, patient satisfaction and patient knowledge.
  • Hong Ji, Ph.D.
    Seeking Personalized Treatment for Severe Asthma in Children
    American Lung Association researcher Hong Ji is identifying biological mechanisms that switch genes on and off for difficult-to-treat childhood asthma and investigate how they contribute to the diversity of patients' disease and response to treatment.
  • Amit Parulekar, M.D.
    Effect of Mold in the Lungs on Severe Asthma
    American Lung Association researcher Amit Parulekar is studying how allergy to fungi or having fungi in the lungs may lead to more severe asthma, and will test a new method of identifying fungi in the lungs.
  • Amanda Poholek, Ph.D.
    Protein Holds Clue to Allergic Airway Inflammation
    American Lung Association researcher Amanda Poholek is investigating the environmental factors that lead to the activation of Blimp-1 and how Blimp-1 causes T cells to drive allergic asthma.
  • Catherine Ptaschinski, Ph.D.
    Studying Genes Important in Controlling Immune Response in Allergic Asthma
    American Lung Association researcher Catherine Ptaschinski is studying how genes function in T cells and in asthma. Understanding how these genes contribute to inflammation may help to identify new therapeutics.
  • Kristi Warren, Ph.D.
    Investigating Gender Differences in Asthma
    American Lung Association researcher Kristi Warren is investigating the role of hormones in the activation of ILC2 in asthma.

Airways Clinical Research Centers

The American Lung Association Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network is the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment research, attracting some of the best investigators nationwide. The ACRC Network conducts large clinical trials that will directly impact patient care for COPD and asthma. Meet our Principal Investigators, see where our centers are located and learn more about some of the important research findings from the ACRC.


    Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed June 5, 2018.

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