Sammeta Raju, PhD
Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2014-2016)
University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL
New Therapeutic Strategies to Treat Mucus Obstruction in COPD Airways
Excessive mucus buildup is an important feature in obstructive lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is caused by an inherited mutation in the CFTR gene that is necessary for efficient mucus clearance, a crucial defense mechanism of the lung. We have previously identified that cigarette smoking causes defects in CFTR function through a highly reactive compound called acrolein. Our study will determine the overall levels of acrolein in cigarette smoke and how it contributes to CFTR abnormality. We propose to identify drugs capable of overcoming acrolein effects on CFTR and improve mucus transport to relieve symptoms of COPD.