2 Yale University Researchers Awarded American Lung Association Grants and Receive a Total Research Investment of $250,000 to Study Lung Diseases

Today, the American Lung Association Research Institute announced it awarded $13.6 million in research grants to fund 129 innovative projects to advance today’s science to end lung disease tomorrow, including two projects from Yale University. 

Yale researchers Kathleen Garrison, PhD, New Haven resident, received a $75,000 Innovation Award, which is renewable for an additional year for a total of $150,000; and Sandra Zaeh, MD, Woodbridge, CT resident received a $50,000 Catalyst Award, which is renewable for an additional year for a total of $100,000.  

Lung research is critical because 462,000 people in Connecticut are living with lung disease and each year, millions of people are impacted by respiratory viruses like COVID-19 and influenza. Through the Awards and Grants Program, the Lung Association supports trailblazing research, novel ideas and innovative approaches. The funded researchers investigate a wide range of lung health topics, including asthma, COPD, lung cancer, COVID-19 and other infectious lung diseases.  

“We are honored to welcome researchers Kathleen Garrison and Sandra Zaeh of Yale University to join the elite American Lung Association Research Institute and our efforts to fundamentally transform lung health here in Connecticut and across the nation,” said Daniel Bowler, Executive Director at the Lung Association. “Our research investment is key to unlocking solutions to alleviate the burden of lung disease. The Lung Association’s Awards and Grants Program promotes innovative research, collaboration, translation of discoveries, and scientific exchange to transform today’s science into tomorrow’s solutions. Because when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.” 

Dr. Garrison’s project will focus on evaluating digital health interventions to promote smoking cessation and aims to identify new ways to improve lung health and lung disease by providing real-time support for quitting smoking. “We are excited for this Lung Association funding to support using innovative digital technologies such as apps and wearables to improve the effectiveness of population-level quit smoking interventions such as text messaging. These efforts are directly in line with the Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.” said Garrison. 

Dr. Zaeh's project aims to identify asthma patient self-management supports needed to use SMART, or a single inhaler for daily maintenance and relief of asthma symptoms. Asthma is a major cause of chronic lung disease affecting over 20 million people in the U.S. Research shows that use of SMART significantly reduces asthma exacerbations. “I am thankful to the ALA for the opportunity to investigate how we can better support patients in their use of SMART therapy, which is now guideline directed care for asthma, said Zaeh. 

This year, awards were given in different categories addressing many aspects of lung disease; 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 and Lung Cancer Discovery Award. Research projects funded by the Lung Association are carefully selected through rigorous scientific peer review and awardees investigate a wide range of complex issues. 

The Lung Association’s Research Institute includes the Awards and Grants program, and also the Airways Clinical Research Network, the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD treatment research. The Lung Association is currently accepting applications for its 2024-2025 research awards and grants cycle. For more information about the active research funding opportunities, visit Lung.org/awards. 

For more information about the new grant awardees and the entire American Lung Association Research Team, visit Lung.org/research-team


For more information, contact:

Jennifer Solomon
(516) 680-8927
[email protected]

Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 07, 2024
Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 15, 2024