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Monica Lawrence, M.D.

headshot of Monica Lawrence, M.D.
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Funded in partnership with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Targeting Neutrophils in Severe Childhood Asthma

Childhood asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disorder affecting 9 percent of children in the United States. Some children with asthma have severe or treatment-resistant disease that results in significant healthcare expenditures, missed school and impaired quality of life. Severe asthma is frequently characterized by the presence of neutrophils, an inflammatory cell type, in the lower airways. However, there are currently no therapies specifically designed to target neutrophilic asthma. We will examine the expression and function of the receptor for a protein called interleukin-5 (IL-5R) on the surface of airway neutrophils. The results of this study could have major impacts on the treatment of severe neutrophilic asthma, by advancing our understanding of how therapies that target the IL-5 pathway might be effective in this disease.

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