Two Philadelphia Researchers Awarded American Lung Association Grants and Receive a Total Research Investment of $400,000 to Study COVID-19 and Respiratory Viruses

The American Lung Association Research Institute announced it awarded $13.6 million in research grants to fund 129 innovative projects to advance today’s science to end lung disease tomorrow, including projects from Philadelphia. Hersh Sagreiya, MD from Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and resident of Wayne, PA; and Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen, PhD, Wistar Institute, Wynnewood, PA resident, were each awarded a $100,000 COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award, which is renewable for an additional year for a total of $200,000 each.

Lung research is critical because nearly 1.7 million people in Pennsylvania are living with lung disease and each year, millions of people are impacted by respiratory viruses like COVID-19 and influenza. Through the Awards and Grants Program, the Lung Association supports trailblazing research, novel ideas and innovative approaches. The funded researchers investigate a wide range of lung health topics, including asthma, COPD, lung cancer, COVID-19, other infectious lung diseases and more.

“We are honored to welcome Hersh Sagreiya and Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen to join the elite American Lung Association Research Institute and our efforts to fundamentally transform lung health here in Pennsylvania and across the nation,” said Caroline Hutchinson, Executive Director at the Lung Association. “Our research investment is key to unlocking solutions to alleviate the burden of lung disease. The Lung Association’s Awards and Grants Program promotes innovative research, collaboration, translation of discoveries, and scientific exchange to transform today’s science into tomorrow’s solutions. Because when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”

Hersh Sagreiya’s project aims to further develop the institute’s Calculated Lung Ultrasound  (CLU) technique (which quantifies the degree of lung involvement in a disease to evaluate progression and treatment response) by incorporating more clinical data into CLU’s prediction and correlate with patient outcomes and extending it to other diseases such as pneumonia and COPD. “I am grateful to the American Lung Association for supporting this project, which will allow me to pursue my longstanding interests in combining both clinical medicine and machine learning to diagnosing and monitoring lung disease,” said Sagreiya.

Abdel-Mohsen’s project is focused on understanding the role of microbial translocation’s contribution to potential long-term complications after acute COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 infection recovery. "These funds will be essential for us to uncover a potentially important and underestimated contributor to the persistent symptoms following acute COVID-19, known as Long-COVID, which impacts millions around the globe, namely, gut leakage and compromised intestinal integrity,” said Abdel-Mohsen.

This year, awards were given in different categories addressing many aspects of lung disease; ALA/AAAAI Allergic Respiratory Diseases Award, ALA/ATS/CHEST Foundation Respiratory Health Equity Research Award, Catalyst Award, COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award, Dalsemer Award, Innovation Award and Lung Cancer Discovery Award. Research projects funded by the Lung Association are carefully selected through rigorous scientific peer review and awardees investigate a wide range of complex issues.

The Lung Association’s Research Institute includes the Awards and Grants program, and also the Airways Clinical Research Network, the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD treatment research. The Lung Association is currently accepting applications for its 2024-2025 research awards and grants cycle. For more information about the active research funding opportunities, visit Lung.org/awards.

For more information about the new grant awardees and the entire American Lung Association Research Team, visit Lung.org/research-team.

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For more information, contact:

Valerie Gleason
717-971-1123
[email protected]

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