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American Lung Association Announces New Investments in Lung Disease Research

Research Awards Nationwide 2016-2017 includes research conducted in Arizona

(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 Arizona. 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 Arizona we see first-hand the toll lung diseases, such as asthma, lung cancer and COPD, can have on families and loved ones,” said Julie Reid, Executive Director for the American Lung Association in Arizona. “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 Arizona 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 Arizona:
•    Anup Srivastava, PhD, University of Arizona Health Services
     o    MKK3 as a Therapeutic Target in COPD
•    Eyal Oren, PhD, Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona (This is the second year of Dr. Oren’s two-year research award)
     o    Promoting Adherence to Treatment for Latent TB Infection Through Mobile Phone Text Messaging

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. Oren wants to learn whether or not daily text message reminders can help those infected with tuberculosis complete their treatment, while Dr. Srivastava has found that oxidant generation and mitochondrial dysfunction are key contributing factors in inflammation leading to COPD and hopes to develop therapeutic strategies for COPD.

“We discovered that MKK3, a mitogen activated protein kinase signaling molecule, controls oxidant and inflammatory responses after cigarette smoke exposure and that inhibition of MKK3 is protective,” Dr. Srivastava said. “The ways in which MKK3 regulates responses to cigarette smoke are novel and include mitochondrial turnover (mitophagy), oxidant generation and regulation of key inflammatory molecules such as nuclear factor kappa B. We are conducting studies to establish a link between MKK3 and cigarette smoke-induced COPD pathogenesis, which will provide basis for developing therapeutic strategies."

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 at the University of Arizona Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center.

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 Arizona 

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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