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Lung Association expands research investment to $8.7 million, making headway on its commitment to double its investment in research

Lung Association expands research investment to $8.7 million, making headway on its commitment to double its investment in research

(December 4, 2019) - Richmond, Virginia

For more information please contact:

Valerie Gleason
[email protected]

– With a vision of a world free of lung disease, the American Lung Association funds a wide range of research to improve lung health, including lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pulmonary fibrosis and more. The organization announced its new research team, which includes Monica Lawrence, M.D., of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. The Lung Association has also increased its research investment to $8.7 million, through awards for both our Airways Clinical Research Center (ACRC) Network and its innovative Awards & Grants program.  

The Awards and Grants Program provides investigators with the funds, at all levels of their career, to conduct novel and promising research to prevent, treat and even cure lung disease. The ACRC is the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD treatment research that promises to have a direct, positive impact on patient care. 

Research projects funded by the Lung Association are carefully selected through rigorous scientific review and represent the investigation of a wide range of complex issues to help combat and reduce the suffering and burden of lung disease. See project overviews of all funded projects at 

American Lung Association/AAAAI Allergy-Asthma Award

Dr. Lawrence’s research at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, titled “Targeting Neutrophils in Severe Childhood Asthma,” was given the American Lung Association/AAAAI Allergy-Asthma Award (funded in partnership with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology) and received $75,000 in funding for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

About the Research:

Childhood asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disorder affecting 9% of children in the United States. Some children with asthma have severe or treatment-resistant disease that results in significant healthcare expenditures, missed school and impaired quality of life. Severe asthma is frequently characterized by the presence of neutrophils, an inflammatory cell type, in the lower airways. However, there are currently no therapies specifically designed to target neutrophilic asthma. She will examine the expression and function of the receptor for a protein called interleukin-5 (IL-5R) on the surface of airway neutrophils. The results of this study could have major impacts on the treatment of severe neutrophilic asthma, by advancing our understanding of how therapies that target the IL-5 pathway might be effective in this disease. This work has the exciting potential to advance of our understanding of the disease process of severe childhood asthma.

Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of both women and men in the U.S. The American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative is dedicated to increasing awareness about the risk of this deadly disease and uniting Americans to raise funds for critical lung cancer research. The Lung Association is funding many research grants dedicated to lung cancer research, including the Lung Cancer Discovery Award. 

COPD is by itself the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. The Lung Association is also funding a number of studies focused on COPD, in addition to the ongoing clinical trials being conducted by the ACRC. 

For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health and the American Lung Association Research Team, contact Valerie Gleason at [email protected] or 717-971-1123.


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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