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Funding $6.6 Million in Lung Health Research, American Lung Association Announces 2017-2018 Research Team

(October 3, 2017) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

The American Lung Association has announced its new 2017-2018 Research Team and its new investments in lung health research. The organization funds research across a wide range of lung health areas, including lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis, with the goal to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the American Lung Association is funding lung health researchers with a total of more than $6.6 million in grants.

"We believe that when you can't breathe, nothing else matters. This is especially true for the more than 32 million Americans who live with a chronic lung disease. Working to find better ways to prevent, treat and even cure lung disease has been at the heart of our mission for more than a century," said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. "Our investment of more than $6.6 million in promising medical research today builds the path to a healthier future for the millions of Americans living with and at risk of lung disease."

Through the American Lung Association Research Team, the Lung Association's Awards and Grants program is funding 72 novel and innovative research projects this year. Another important component of the American Lung Association Research Team is the Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) network – which includes a data coordinating center managed by a team at Johns Hopkins University and 17 clinical research centers. The Lung Association's ACRC is the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD treatment research, and helps bring findings from the lab directly to patients.

"We're proud that through our Awards and Grants program and our Airways Clinical Research Centers network, we have assembled a Research Team of some of the brightest and most innovative people in the field of lung health research," said Wimmer. "The work of our Research Team results in discoveries that have both long-term and immediate impact on the lives of patients."

Research projects funded by the Lung Association are carefully chosen through rigorous scientific review, and represent an investigation of a wide range of complex issues to help combat and reduce the suffering and burden of lung disease.

The new and promising research projects funded this year by the Lung Association include:

  • A study at Columbia University, New York City, into the causes of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and development of tools for its therapeutic targeting.
  • A study at Texas A&M, to explore how the KRAS gene mutation and the suppression of a major immune system component (NLRC5) combine to promote lung cancer cell development.
  • A research project out of the University of Alabama that will focus on the impact of e-cigarettes on lung inflammation and its influence on ongoing lung damage.
  • A study at Northwestern University, to develop behavioral treatment strategies to assist COPD patients with smoking cessation.

Additional research projects are based in locations across the country, such as the University of California, Los Angeles; Children's Hospital, Philadelphia; the University of Florida; National Jewish Health, Denver; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Cincinnati Children's Hospital; and many others. 

"A unique focus of our research funding is to identify and support junior investigators and trainees who are interested in lung health. By supporting them early in their career, we hope to inspire them to make a long-term commitment to lung health research," said Wimmer. "Many of the investigators we have championed early in their careers have gone on to make major contributions to the field of pulmonary medicine."

For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health and the research the Lung Association funds, contact Allison MacMunn at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.



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 coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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