American Lung Association Awards More Than $5 Million for Lung Disease Research, Including Study by Nobel Prize Winner

Washington, D.C. (July 6, 2011)

As part of the American Lung Association's continuing efforts to find cures for all lung diseases, the organization will be funding more than $5 million for research spanning various lung health fields—from lung cancer to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)—in 2011-2012.

“There are a number of important studies that embody the American Lung Association’s mission of improving lung health and preventing lung disease in our nation,” said Dr. Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. “Our support of this research is an investment in a healthier future for Americans who are impacted by and at risk of lung disease.”

Through its Awards and Grants Program, the Lung Association will fund 70 grants in the amount of $2.9 million. The Awards and Grants Program supports mainly trainees and junior investigators to ensure long-term commitments to lung disease research and to maintain an adequate supply of scientists dedicated to lung disease. Studies currently being funded by this program include the use of immune cells to identify novel genes that regulate lung inflammation, the validation of a biomarker to determine who will respond/fail to lung cancer treatment, and the exploration of the impact of advertising on waterpipe tobacco (also referred to as “hookah”) use in young adults. The Lung Association has also partnered with the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), the Chest Foundation, and NTM Info & Research to fund high quality research through this program.

The American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network is the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma treatment research. The American Lung Association will provide $2.6 million in base support to the ACRC Network, which consists of 18 sites and a Data Coordinating Center, and partner with both industry and government to conduct large clinical trials that will have a direct impact on patient care and asthma treatment. Studies currently being conducted by the network include one examining whether soy is an effective treatment in patients with poorly controlled asthma and another researching whether the treatment of sinusitis (chronic disease of the nose and sinuses) with nasal steroids will improve asthma control.

New this year, the American Lung Association has partnered with the American Asthma Foundation to support the American Lung Association/American Asthma Foundation Senior Investigator Award—a three-year award funded at $250,000 per year—for non-pulmonologists conducting novel and innovative research on asthma. The award recipient is Roger Tsien, Ph.D., a 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner located at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Tsien’s research focuses on the workings of proteases, ubiquitous enzymes involved in many biological processes including the inflammation that underlies asthma.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity for the American Lung Association to help support research that may lead to the development of a system for delivery of protease blockers as a new therapeutic tool for asthma,” said Dr. Edelman.

The American Lung Association will release information on its entire 2011-2012 Research Portfolio this October through its Research Awards Nationwide publication.

The American Lung Association is also requesting applications for the 2012-2013 grant cycle. To learn more, visit www.lung.org/finding-cures/grant-opportunities/. The application deadline is October 20, 2011.

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About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.  For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: www.Lung.org.