Duke University School of Medicine Researcher Awarded American Lung Association Grant

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 North Carolina announced that Jason Lang, M.D., M.P.H. from Duke University School of Medicine was awarded the Innovation Award.

Lang’s project is entitled “The iPRO study: Inspiratory Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Children with Obesity and Asthma”.  Lang’s team found that in obese children with asthma, inspiratory muscle ‘rehabilitation’ training (IMR) over six weeks was well-tolerated, and led to improved diaphragmatic strength and exercise capacity, and a tendency for fewer asthma symptoms. This award will allow Lang’s team to study whether a simple IMR intervention over eight weeks can improve breathing outcomes in 60 children ages 8 to 17 with obesity and asthma. The study will confirm the safety, feasibility/patient enthusiasm and preliminary efficacy of a novel non-drug intervention. The findings may also provide a valuable new management tool for children struggling with obesity and asthma. 

“Our team is so appreciative of the American Lung Association awarding us this grant,” shares Lang. “Many children in our clinic who suffer from increased asthma are also overweight or obese. We don’t know why, but obesity appears to worsen asthma symptoms. Many of my patients also have breathlessness with daily activity, which often leads to reduced exercise and increased doses of asthma medicine. We think this non-drug form of rehab(ilitation) may make a huge difference.”

“Here in North Carolina, we face lung health challenges every day like higher smoking/vaping rates, high lung cancer/COPD rates and natural disasters like hurricanes. In addition, more than 1,321,000 people in our state are living with chronic lung disease,” said Ashley Lyerly, Senior Director of Advocacy in North Carolina for the American Lung Association. “We are excited for Lang to join the American Lung Association Research Team to help improve lung health here in North Carolina 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
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American Lung Association logos and other media resources are available at Lung.org/media.

For more information, contact:

Jill Smith
[email protected]

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