University of Florida Researcher Awarded American Lung Association Grant to Study the Flu

Lung health research is more important than ever. Never have we faced so many challenges to our lung health, including COVID-19, vaping and smoke from increased wildfires. Today, the American Lung Association in Florida announced that Emily Moser, Ph.D. from the University of Florida was awarded the Innovation Award.

Moser’s project aims to improve germinal center responses to influenza A virus vaccination through a novel ubiquitin ligase pathway. “Vaccines work through inducing the body’s immune system, and the antibody response is one of the most important defenses,” shares Moser.

Antibodies are produced by specialized immune cells called B cells. There is a good understanding of the external signals that can activate B cells to make antibodies, but less is known about the inner workings of B cells, determined in part by protein enzymes like ubiquitin ligases.

The Moser lab has recently discovered that a ubiquitin ligase called Cul4b plays an important role within B cells to help them make antibodies. “We believe that new adjuvants that enhance the Cul4b pathway in B cells could improve antibody responses after vaccination,” states Moser. “Investigating how Cul4b regulates B cells is the first step to designing such important and much-needed improved vaccines.” 
 
“Here in Florida, we face lung health challenges every day like higher smoking/vaping rates, high lung cancer/COPD rates, natural disasters, etc. In addition, more than 2.52 million people in our state are living with chronic lung disease,” said Cindy Springer, senior manager of development with the American Lung Association. “We are excited for Dr. Moser to join the American Lung Association Research Team to help improve lung health here in Florida and across the nation.”

In the 2022-2023 grants cycle, the Lung Association is funding $13.2 million for more than 130 lung health research grants. For this round of funding, the organization placed a greater focus on strategic partnerships with key organizations like American Thoracic Society and CHEST, and grants that focus on equity like the Harold Amos Scholar.

Research projects funded by the Lung Association are carefully selected through rigorous scientific review and awardees represent the investigation of a wide range of complex issues. Awards were given in eight different categories; 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, Lung Cancer Discovery Award, and Public Policy Research Award.

The Lung Association’s Nationwide Research Program includes the Awards and Grants Program, and also our Airways Clinical Research Network, the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD treatment research.

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

Media Resources
For more information, contact:

Jill Smith
704-818-4138
[email protected]

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