In order to extend our research impact to better support lung disease patients, the American Lung Association is continually seeking innovative ways to expand and enhance the impact of our research program. We have recently embarked on a number of exciting collaborations and partnerships to leverage available research funds and extend the impact of research findings.

The American Lung Association through the LUNG FORCE initiative has financed its single largest investment in lung cancer research to date. In collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer and the LUNGevity Foundation, we are co-funding two new research awards designed to cover a range of approaches for the early detection and interception of cancer, or treatment before the cancer takes hold.

Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team

The Stand Up To Cancer–LUNGevity – American Lung Association Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team will develop diagnostic tools, such as nasal swabs, blood tests and radiological imaging to confirm whether lung abnormalities found on chest imaging are benign lung disease or lung cancer. New blood tests will help identify patients at the earliest stages of recurrence, enabling timely interventions such as immunotherapy to protect against the recurrence of disease that was successfully treated.

  • Leader: Avrum Spira, M.D., professor of medicine, pathology and bioinformatics, and director of the Cancer Center at Boston University-Boston Medical Center.
  • Co-leader: Steven Dubinett, M.D., associate vice chancellor for research at UCLA and director of the lung cancer research program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Allergic Respiratory Disease Award, an American Lung Association and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and the AAAAI Foundation

Representing a long-standing joint effort to promote and support research on advancing the understanding of allergic respiratory diseases, the American Lung Association is co-funding three  awards with the AAAAI and AAAAI Foundation. Suzanne Cassel, M.D., is examining blocking the development of cells involved in steroid-resistant asthma, ; Nora Barrett, MD, is exploring the mechanisms of inflammation and development of asthma; and Sunit Jariwala, MD, who is working on expanding a software program that uses touch-screen and voice recognition technology to deliver comprehensive asthma education to pediatric patients.

American Lung Association and American Thoracic Society Research Collaborations

The Lung Association is partnering with the American Thoracic Society to co-fund two research grants for young investigators at important crossroads of their careers, typically those still in training or just gaining independence as faculty at institutions. Through this ‘career ladder’ funding structure, we are building a community of researchers dedicated to lung health and committed to lung disease research. Together, we are funding Mary Rice, M.D., MPH, who will be examining Ambient Temperature and Lung Function: Acute Effects and Interactions with Outdoor Pollutants and Bria M. Coates, M.D. who will be examining the impact of NOD-like receptor signaling in juvenile influenza A virus infection. Additionally the two associations are partnering to fund Henning Willers, MD on a Lung Cancer Discovery Award investigating how to attack tumors before lung cancer resistance begins. This research may lead to a dramatic change in how we treat EGFR mutant cancers, thereby prolonging lives and perhaps even achieving cures in some patients.

The American Lung Association and Thoracic Surgery Foundation

We have teamed with the Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF) to support research that fosters the development of surgeon scientists to promote our mutual goal of increasing knowledge and advancing innovation in ways that benefit patient care. We are cofounding the research of Adam C. Soloff, Ph.D. and the University of Pittsburgh.

Page last updated: December 15, 2021

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