Urbana Researcher Awarded Grant to Study COVID-19

Joins cohort of researchers receiving $12.6 million in lung health grants

Shannon Sirk, PhD, from the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was awarded a $100,000 grant from the American Lung Association to study COVID-19 and emerging respiratory viruses. She joins a cohort of researchers receiving a total of $12.6 million in over 100 grants in increased research funding from the organization, including seven new COVID-19 research grants. 

“Dr. Sirk is part of an elite team that joins the Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Nearly 37 million Americans live with lung disease, and as we face new challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, lung health research is more important than ever,” said Lori Younker, National Senior Director of the American Lung Association HelpLine. “We are proud to have Dr. Sirk on our team to help us realize our vision of a world free of lung disease.”

For the Lung Association’s 2021-2022 research grant cycle, Sirk received the COVID-19 and Emerging Respiratory Viruses Research Award. This award includes $100,000 per year for up to two years. Her project aims to use bacterial species that reside in the lungs to deliver virus-blocking biological drugs. This will help responses to future respiratory pathogenic threats.  

Research projects funded by the Lung Association are carefully selected through a rigorous review committee and represent the investigation of a wide range of complex issues to help reduce the burden of lung disease. 

Meet the full Lung Association research team, including current awardees and their full abstracts, at Lung.org/research-team.

For more information, contact:

Dana Kauffman
312-940-7624
[email protected]

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