American Lung Association Awards $6.45 Million in Promising Research, Now Accepting Research Applications for Future 2020-2021 Investments

In pursuit of better treatment options and cures for lung diseases, today the American Lung Association announces an investment of $6.45 million in promising research to fund an expected 64 grants for FY20. And with an eye to the future, the organization is accepting applications for 2020-2021 research grants.

“We’ve made a significant investment in the newest and most promising research, and we’re excited to grow our impact next year with innovative new awards that have the potential to truly transform lives,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “The challenges for those with a lung disease are both persistent and urgent, so our approach is two-pronged: we invest in promising research for new treatments, and we accelerate treatments from the lab to the patient’s bedside through translational research and our clinical trials network.”

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 combat and reduce the suffering and burden of lung disease. The Lung Association is now accepting applications for 2020-2021 at

Lung Cancer Discovery Award - supports independent investigators conducting clinical, laboratory, epidemiological or any groundbreaking project aimed at revolutionizing our current understanding of lung cancer and improving diagnostic, clinical and treatment methods.

Innovation Award - supports independent investigators who are leveraging their existing body of work to conduct basic science, behavioral, clinical or translational research for lung health.

Catalyst Award - supports mentored-investigators who are conducting basic science, behavioral, clinical or translational research into lung health.

Public Policy Grant - supports research on and evaluation of existing public policy and programs, as well as projects that inject innovative ideas into public policies impacting lung health.

Allergic Respiratory Diseases Research Award - supports early-stage investigators with a primary faculty appointment in an allergy-immunology division, to conduct research into advancing the understanding of allergic respiratory disease.

Dalsemer Award - supports junior investigators for researching the mechanisms and biology of interstitial lung disease.

Three of the featured FY20 award recipients include:

Andrew Synn, M.D., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, Catalyst Awardee

Disease that impacts pulmonary vessels is common but can be difficult to detect for those with a chronic lung condition. By studying the use of chest imaging to detect abnormalities in pulmonary vessels for those with chronic lung conditions, this project will help determine whether radiographic biomarkers can be used to help detect pulmonary vascular disease for at-risk patients without the need for an invasive procedure.

Monica Cartelle-Gestal, Ph.D., ILM, University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., Athens, GA, Catalyst Awardee

Whooping cough, caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis, causes a severe cough and respiratory disease that can be fatal for infants and those with a compromised immune system. Having identified a gene that is important for the persistence of Bordetella, this project seeks to unravel the mechanisms by which Bordetella and other bacteria manipulate the immune system, leading to new, more effective vaccines to protect against and prevent transmission of the bacteria.

Gregg Duncan, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, MD, Innovation Awardee

While millions of Americans are impacted by obstructive lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there has been little innovation in our ability to diagnose these diseases. This project looks to utilize nanotechnology in the design of a novel diagnostic tool to monitor physical changes in mucus associated with the progression of disease, in the hopes of improving both patient diagnosis and clinical outcomes.

Read their full abstracts and learn more about all funded researchers at

In addition, this year the American Lung Association and Northwestern Medicine announced a new $24.8 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to conduct the first federally funded U.S. cohort study of millennials. 

For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health and the American Lung Association Research Team, contact Allison MacMunn at [email protected] or 312-801-7628. 

For more information, contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | Apr 17, 2024
Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 07, 2024