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Mayo Clinic Researcher Joins American Lung Association Research Team

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

(December 3, 2019) - ROCHESTER, Minn.

For more information please contact:

Jill Thompson
[email protected]
312-940-7001

Today, the American Lung Association announced its new research team, which includes Andrew Haak, Ph.D., from Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. This year, the organization 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. This announcement comes at an important time, as November is both Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month. 

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 cancer and 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. 

Dr. Haak was given the Catalyst Award for his research project, titled “Catecholamine Signaling Regulates Pulmonary Fibrosis.”

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an aggressive and fatal disease that causes scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs. Scarring causes stiffness in the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe. Lung damage from IPF is irreversible and progressive, meaning it gets worse over time. The processes that promote the chronic nature and prevent resolution of pulmonary fibrosis are not understood. Dr. Haak will investigate the role hormones called catecholamines (dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine) play in regulating pulmonary fibrosis. He will study how catecholamine cell signaling regulates the disease and test clinically approved drugs which regulate catecholamines in models of pulmonary fibrosis. The results could lead to a potential treatment that not only halts the progression of fibrosis but promotes its reversal and improves lung function.

See project overviews of all funded projects at Lung.org/research-team.

For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health and the Lung Association Research Team, contact Jill Thompson at mailto:[email protected] or 312-940-7001. 

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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 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: Lung.org.

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