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American Lung Association Announces New Investments in Lung Disease Research

Research Awards Nationwide 2016-2017 includes research conducted in Colorado

(October 19, 2016) -

For more information please contact:

Heather Mangan
[email protected]

The American Lung Association recently unveiled its Research Awards Nationwide 2016-2017 report that highlights the novel and innovative research projects supported by the organization, including projects conducted in Colorado. The goal of these research awards is to discover effective prevention and treatment strategies as well as cures for lung diseases, such as asthma, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and more.

Through its Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) and Awards and Grants Program, the American Lung Association funds high quality research and will be funding more than $6.5 million in 2016-2017. The program supports laboratory and patient-centered research and is an essential cornerstone of the Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.

“In Colorado we see first-hand the toll lung diseases, such as asthma, lung cancer and COPD, can have on families and loved ones,” said Ellen Penrod, Executive Director for the American Lung Association in Colorado. “Scientific research is key to reducing the burden of these lung diseases and saving more lives. The American Lung Association is extremely proud to fund two promising research efforts in Colorado that will offer needed support to those in our community suffering from lung disease.”

Over the next 12 months, the American Lung Association is supporting the following local lung disease research projects through its Awards and Grants Program in Colorado:
•    Melanie Blevins, PhD, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus
   o    Development of Lung Cancer Peptide Therapeutics Targeting the CtBP1 Transcriptional Co-Repressor
•    Kristen Holm, PhD, National Jewish Health
   o    Social and Cognitive Risk Factors for Suboptimal Adherence to Supplemental Oxygen Therapy
Medical advances made possible by the research contributions of the Lung Association have advanced treatment options, improved quality of life and patient care for a variety of lung diseases. Dr. Blevins’ research is focused on identifying ways to inhibit the developmental protein, CtBP1, as a potential means to treat lung cancer. She developed molecules called peptides that can inhibit the formation of CtBP1, which promotes cancer cell survival.

“I hope to further optimize these peptides to improve their effectiveness and eventually develop them into therapies for lung cancer,” she said. “In addition to providing the financial support necessary to further advance this project, obtaining this fellowship is an integral part of fostering and advancing my interdisciplinary training and early career in lung cancer research.”

Dr. Holm and her collaborators will examine novel instruments they have developed that will lead to a better understanding of reasons why patients don’t use supplemental oxygen as prescribed.

“These instruments measure patients’ attitudes and beliefs, including beliefs about family involvement in oxygen use, to better understand the factors that influence adherence to oxygen,” Dr. Holm said. “Results of this study can inform the development of interventions designed to improve adherence to oxygen.”
In addition to the Awards and Grants program, the ACRC network is the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD treatment research. The network consists of a data coordinating center managed by a team at Johns Hopkins University, along with 17 clinical research centers nationwide, including the National Jewish Health Mount Sinai Respiratory Institute.

The Research Awards Nationwide 2016-2017 report is interactive and available online at For media interested in learning more about new and promising lung disease research funded by the Lung Association or speaking with an expert about lung disease, contact Heather Mangan at [email protected] or 312-801-7631.


About the American Lung Association in Colorado 

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 the newly redesigned website:

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