2 University of Pittsburgh Researchers Receive Funding from American Lung Association for a Combined Research Investment of $175,000 to Improve Lung Health and Prevent Lung Disease

In an effort to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, the American Lung Association invests in promising lung health research. The organization recently announced an investment in 98 promising lung health research awards, including for University of Pittsburgh researchers Partha Dutta, Ph.D. and Stephen Chan, M.D., Ph.D, for a combined research investment of $175,000. The American Lung Association funds a wide range of research to improve lung health, including COVID-19, lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis and more.

“More than 36 million Americans are living with lung disease, placing them at increased risk for the most severe impacts of COVID-19. The American Lung Association recognizes that now is a crucial time to champion lung health, and is investing in promising lung health research, including with Dr. Partha Dutta and Dr. Stephen Chan at University of Pittsburgh,” said American Lung Association Chief Mission Officer Deborah Brown. “We’re proud to support promising scientists to help us realize our vision of a world free of lung disease.”

COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award
Dr. Chan’s research at University of Pittsburgh, titled “NCOA7 as a Novel Therapeutic and Genetic Diagnostic Target in SARS-CoV-2 Infection,” was given the COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award and received $100,000 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Chan’s research aims to define the process by which a specific protein made in cells, NCOA7, controls how SARS-CoV-2 infects human tissue and causes COVID-19.

“The American Lung Association is at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 and I’m excited to have been awarded this funding and join their research team,” said Chan. “Our hope is that our endeavors will address a fundamental gap in our knowledge about the unique lifecycle of this novel coronavirus and simultaneously generate deliverables that can be rapidly deployed to combat this pandemic.”   

Innovation Award
Dr. Dutta’s research at University of Pittsburgh, titled “Stopping Endothelial Cell Death in Pulmonary Hypertension,” was given the Innovation Award and received $75,000 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare but devastating disease characterized by increased pressure of blood vessels in the lungs, which ultimately leads to heart failure. More than 50% of the patients die within five years after PH diagnosis. Dutta’s research aims to define the role of CX3CR1 in stopping endothelial cell death, which can lead to improved treatment for PH.

“We are very excited to receive an Innovation Award from the American Lung Association. This award will help us to investigate the mechanisms of death of the endothelium, which is the inner lining of blood vessels, in pulmonary hypertension, a disease without any cure. This research will potentially reveal therapeutic targets to ameliorate the pathogenesis of this disease,” says Dutta.

Research projects funded by the Lung Association are carefully selected through rigorous scientific review and represent the investigation of a wide range of complex issues to help improve the lives of those living with a lung disease.

For more information about the American Lung Association research award recipients and projects, visit Lung.org/research-team. Downloadable images here. For media seeking an interview with a COVID-19 researcher or lung health expert, contact Valerie Gleason at [email protected] or 717-971-1123.

For more information, contact:

Valerie Gleason
[email protected]

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