The American Lung Association Research Institute has awarded $13.6 million in research grants to fund 129 projects to advance science and lessen the burden of lung disease.
Through the awards and grants program, the American Lung Association supports research, novel ideas, and innovative approaches. The funded researchers investigate a range of lung health topics, including asthma, COPD, lung cancer, and more.
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 American Lung Association are selected through rigorous scientific peer review, and awardees represent the investigation of a wide range of complex issues.
A few of the recent grant awardees include:
- Catalyst Award presented to Amanda Wilson, PhD, from the Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona for her study on asthma, titled “Protecting Asthmatic Children’s Health by Reducing Respiratory Viral Infections in Schools: A Novel Risk Analysis Tool.” The burden of respiratory viral diseases (flu, RSV, COVID-19) is on the rise in the US, posing risks for children with asthma. This research aims to create a risk calculator tool for school health personnel to support real-time decision-making to reduce virus spread in schools across the US.
- Lung Cancer Discovery Award presented to Lucas Ferrari de Andrade, PhD, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, for his project titled “Promoting Natural Killer Cell-driven Immunity Against Lung Cancer.” Immunotherapy plays a pivotal role in the elimination of tumor cells, but many patients with lung cancer are either resistant or develop acquired resistance to the current immunotherapies available. The goal of this research is to develop an alternative, unique approach that trains white blood cells to recognize and destroy tumor cells. In the long term, researchers hope that this will help provide a new treatment for patients and could prolong their lives or even cure this disease.
- COVID-19 & Emerging Respiratory Viruses Research Award presented to Mohsan Saeed, PhD, from Trustees of Boston University, for his project titled “Deciphering the Determinants of Coronaviral Tissue Tropism.” Previous work by Saeed showed that, in contrast to all other SARS-CoV-2 variants that mainly infect the lungs, the recently identified Omicron variant tends to infect the upper respiratory tract, most likely because of modifications to the spike protein. The goal of their research is to determine how and why Omicron prefers to target the upper respiratory tract and use that information to improve treatment and outcomes of this disease.
“We are honored to welcome the members of our new research team and empower them to help us find solutions to prevent lung disease and improve the lives of people living with lung disease,” says Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association, in a release.
The American 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.