With lung diseases like COVID-19 and lung cancer, vaping and smoke from increased wildfires, lung health research has never been more important. Today, the American Lung Association in Kentucky announced that Geoffrey Clark, PhD, from the University of Louisville Research Foundation, Inc., was bestowed $100,000 Lung Cancer Discovery Award funding to study a novel approach to treat this devastating disease.
“Here in Kentucky, we face lung health challenges like higher smoking and youth e-cigarette use rates and the highest lung cancer incidence and mortality rates in the nation. In addition, more than 740,000 people in our state are living with chronic lung disease,” said Deena Adams, executive director at the Lung Association in Kentucky. “We are excited for Dr. Clark to join the American Lung Association Research Team to help improve lung health here in Kentucky and across the nation.”
Many lung cancers are driven by the abnormal activity of a cancer-promoting protein called RAS. This can be caused by mutations in the RAS gene, or by defects that occur in the proteins that normally regulate RAS protein. Recently, drugs have been developed that inhibit one subset of mutant RAS, but there are no drugs that can address the remaining RAS-driven lung tumors without this mutation. RAS works by binding to other proteins and activating them to drive cancer. One of these binding proteins is called RALGDS. Dr. Clark’s project aims to determine how this binding protein works and find the most effective strategy for its use against primary tumor models of RAS-driven lung cancer.
In the 2022-2023 grants cycle, the Lung Association is funding $13.1 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.
The Lung Association’s Nationwide Research Program includes the Awards and Grants Program, and the 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 Lung Association Research Team, visit Lung.org/research-team.
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 education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.