Emory University Researcher Awarded American Lung Association Grant to Study Lung Health

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 Georgia announced that Assistant Professor Kristin Nelson, Ph.D., M.P.H. from Emory University will receive the Catalyst Award.

Nelson’s project aims to estimate the potential public health impact of introducing new vaccines against tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the leading infectious causes of death. New and repurposed vaccines against TB offer immense promise to reduce illness and death from TB, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. Nelson’s team plans to quantify the potential impact of introducing TB vaccines in four key countries (Mozambique, Guatemala, India, and Pakistan). Understanding the possible public health impact of these vaccines across countries can guide the design of ongoing vaccine trials and inform strategies for rolling out new TB vaccines, including which populations should be prioritized.

“No infectious disease has ever been eliminated or eradicated without an effective vaccine,” said Dr. Nelson. “These studies will allow us to better plan for the introduction of these game-changing tools in the global fight against TB and for better lung health for all.”

“Here in Georgia, we face lung health challenges every day like higher smoking/vaping rates, high lung cancer/COPD rates, natural disasters, etc. In addition, more than 1.3 million people in our state are living with chronic lung disease,” said Michele Howell, executive director at the Lung Association in Georgia. “We are excited for Dr. Nelson to join the American Lung Association Research Team to help improve lung health here in Georgia and across the globe.”

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.

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For more information, contact:

Jill Smith
[email protected]

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