COPD Research | American Lung Association

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COPD Research

COPD research helps us understand how the disease is caused, how it develops and how it is best treated. Research can provide a better and longer future for those diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The American Lung Association is committed to funding COPD research. Our Awards and Grants Program seeks out 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 be impossible. In addition, the Lung Association funds the Airways Clinical Research Centers Network, which implements patient-centered clinical trials.

Some of the current topics American Lung Association funded researchers are investigating include ways to reduce mucus production in COPD, how genes influence the development of cigarette smoke-induced COPD and how to increase adherence to supplemental oxygen therapy in people with COPD.

Thanks to the medical breakthroughs led by Lung Association researchers and their colleagues, our researchers have made significant contributions to the field of COPD. Below are some of our current COPD researchers and their studies.

COPD Research Studies

See some of the current research projects we are funding:

  • Cristine Berry, MD
    Does Early-Life Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Increase COPD Risk?
  • Hitendra Chand, PhD
    Reducing Mucus Production in Asthma and COPD
  • Suzanne Cloonan, PhD
    How Genes Influence Development of Cigarette Smoke-Induced COPD
  • 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.
  • Fabienne Gally, PhD
    Protein Could Boost Immune System Against Cigarette Smoke
  • Monica Goldklang, MD
    How Does Cigarette Smoke Lead to Lung Damage in Emphysema?
  • Kristen Holm, PhD
    Increasing Adherence to Supplemental Oxygen Therapy in People with COPD
  • Harry Karmouty-Quintana, Ph.D.
    Investigating Role of Excessively Multiplying Cells in Pulmonary Hypertension
    American Lung Association researcher Harry Karmouty-Quintana is studying the role of CFIm25, a protein that is reduced in patients with COPD who have high blood pressure in the lungs.
  • Kengo Koike, M.D., Ph.D.
    Understanding Enzyme Involved in Development of COPD
    American Lung Association researcher Kengo Koike is studying the process that produces fat-like substances called bioactive lipids in lung cells involved in COPD.
  • Beata Kosmider, PhD
    How Does Smoke Impair A Protein That Protects Against Lung Injury?
  • Dan Li, Ph.D.
    Elucidating Enzyme's Role in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
    American Lung Association researcher Dan Li will study an enzyme called ALDH1A3 that is increased in PAH PASMC, and use a mouse model that lacks ALDH1A3 to determine the adverse effects of pulmonary hypertension.
  • Seyed Babak Mahjour, M.D., Ph.D.
    Developing Small Airway Models to Better Comprehend COPD
    American Lung Association researcher Seyed Mahjour is developing novel, "personalized" models of small airway pathology in COPD, in which different cell types normally present in the small airways and altered by the disease will be isolated and integrated into an experimental system.
  • Amanda Mathew, Ph.D.
    Smoking Cessation Program Specifically Designed for COPD Patients
    American Lung Association researcher Amanda Mathew is developing a novel smoking cessation intervention among COPD patients and use data from patients and providers to guide treatment delivery.
  • Margherita Paschini, Ph.D.
    Lung Stem Cells that Repair Air Sacs Could Lead to New Emphysema Treatment
    American Lung Association researcher Margherita Paschini is studying the signals between the lung stem cells and their environment to harness the mechanism of alveolar repair.
  • Alexa Pragman, MD, PhD
    Can Bacteria from the Mouth be Used to Study COPD?
  • Valerie Press, MD, MPH
    Video-Based Education Program for Inhaler Use
  • Sammeta Raju, PhD
    New Therapeutic Strategies to Treat Mucus Obstruction in COPD Airways
  • Bradley Winston Richmond, MD
    Infections Could Play Role in Smokers’ Development of COPD
  • Anup Srivastava, Ph.D.
    Studying Inflammation in Cigarette Smoke-Induced COPD
    American Lung Association researcher Anup Srivastava is studying dysfunction of the mitochondria and how that leads to COPD.
  • Isaac Kirubakaran Sundar, PhD
    Identifying How Cigarette Smoke Causes Lung Cells to Age Prematurely

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. See where our centers are located and learn more about some of the important research findings from the ACRC.


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