Amali Samarasinghe, PhD | American Lung Association

Location Select your location

Amali Samarasinghe, PhD

Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2015-2016)

University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Fundied in Partnership with the American Lung Association of the Midland States
Molecules Found in Allergic Airways May Protect Against Influenza

Although asthma was a risk factor associated with increased hospitalization during the 2009 influenza pandemic, people with asthma were less likely to die from influenza compared with non asthmatics. Reasons for these seemingly contradictory results are unknown. Our data suggests that small proteins called resistin-like molecules, which are abundant in allergic airways, may play a role in reducing illness from influenza. The function of these proteins in respiratory viral infections has not been thoroughly investigated. We will examine the source and function of these proteins in influenza immunity. Our findings can be used to develop treatments for influenza virus infections.

Update: We found white blood cells called eosinophils have an antiviral effect during influenza infections. The availability of resistin-like molecules in the lungs correlated with the presence of eosinophils. We have determined that resistin-like molecules regulate the inflammatory response during allergic asthma and influenza. We are continuing to study how eosinophils may function as positive regulators of these molecules during influenza.

Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

What is LUNG FORCE?

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.