American Lung Association Expands Clinical Research Network to Advance COVID-19, Lung Disease Treatments, Cures

Groundbreaking Airways Clinical Research Centers Network expanded to 39 sites nationwide, includes nation’s leading lung researchers

As the nation’s longest standing public health organization the American Lung Association has evolved throughout the decades to meet the most urgent lung health needs of the day. Today, the organization has announced it is expanding its Airways Clinical Research Centers Network (ACRC) both in size and focus – including new research on COVID-19 and millennial lung health across 39 sites nationwide.

For more than 20 years, the ACRC has grown to focus on both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) research, becoming the nation’s largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers focused on lung disease. Today, the ACRC continues to expand from 22 sites to 39, nearly doubling its geographic reach and building on its network of the best lung disease researchers nationwide.

The additional sites will better accommodate the upcoming Lung Health Cohort—a first-of-its-kind study of millennial lung health with the ultimate goal to stop lung disease before it even starts—and research associated with the new COVID-19 Action Initiative to evaluating the effects of COVID-19 on patients with chronic lung disease.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies the importance of ongoing lung disease research as championed by the ACRC,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “Clinical research allows us to advance scientific knowledge from the lab to the patient’s bedside swiftly, directly impacting patient care. As our nation faces the COVID-19 public health crisis, this framework of the ACRC is needed today more than ever.”

In the fiscal year 2020, the Lung Association funded $8.7 million for lung health research, and last week announced the COVID-19 Action Initiative, a $25 million investment in COVID-19 and emerging respiratory virus research, education and advocacy. In addition, last year in partnership with Northwestern University, the organization announced a $24.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a Lung Health Cohort Study of millennials, which will provide the opportunity to examine the effect of environmental exposures, including COVID-19, on respiratory health in young people.

“Just as the American Lung Association has been supporting the lung health of all Americans for more than 115 years, we will be here for the next century convening the nation’s brightest scientific minds and advancing solutions for the greatest threats to lung health of the day,” Wimmer said. “Because when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”

For more information the ACRC Network, research funded by the American Lung Association or the COVID-19 Action Initiative, visit Journalists seeking to arrange an interview with a research or medical expert on lung health, COVID-19 or other lung diseases contact Stephanie Goldina at 312-801-7629 or [email protected].

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Cook
[email protected]

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