American Lung Association Funds $6.49 Million in Lung Health Research

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New funding for promising research on asthma, COPD, lung cancer and more announced in Research Awards Nationwide report, including double the investment for lung cancer research

Dr. Johnathan Whetstine, Association Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Sweta Mishra, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, research drug-resistant lung cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center with funding from the American

American Lung Association grant recipients Dr. Johnathan Whetstine (Right) and Dr. Sweta Mishra (Left) research drug-resistant lung cancer

When you can't breathe, nothing else matters. - Harold P. Wimmer

The American Lung Association’s Research Awards Nationwide 2015-2016 report highlights the 69 novel and innovative research projects funded by the organization to meet its mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The Lung Association will fund a total of $6.49 million in grants in 2015-2016, including more than $3.8 million for lung disease research plus funding for the Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC).

By funding promising research, the American Lung Association seeks to discover not only potential cures and effective prevention and treatment strategies for lung disease, but also methods to improve the quality of life for those living with lung disease through the support of both laboratory and patient-centered research. After a rigorous scientific review, carefully chosen research projects focus on a wide range of complex issues to help combat and reduce the suffering and burden of lung disease – ranging from lung cancer and COPD to asthma and pulmonary fibrosis.

"When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters. More than 33 million Americans live with a chronic lung disease like asthma or COPD, and we know that scientific research is the front-line weapon in eliminating the terrible toll of lung disease on our families and loved ones,” said Harold P. Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “We are proud to fund $6.49 million in research this year, investing in a healthier future for Americans who are impacted by and at risk of lung disease, whether asthma, lung cancer, COPD or pulmonary fibrosis."

Funding medical research is at the core of the American Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our research builds healthier futures by funding the most innovative and inquisitive scientific minds, offering support to allow them to grow and advance in the field of lung health research.

This year, in connection with our LUNG FORCE initiative—which seeks to raise awareness, provide patient support and much needed funds to help defeat lung cancer in women—the Lung Association has doubled its research investment in lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

“Lung cancer is the top cancer killer of both women and men, a fact that is alarming and demands action,” Wimmer said. “As a result, the American Lung Association has made defeating lung cancer a strategic imperative of the organization, and we are proud to double our funding in lung cancer research.”

The Lung Association has also expanded the ACRC network to include not only asthma, but also research on COPD. The network will continue to directly impact patient care for asthma in diverse populations, but will now be able to conduct large, simple trials examining COPD as well.

Research Awards Nationwide 2015-2016 is available and searchable on the American Lung Association’s recently redesigned website at

For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health and the research we fund, contact the American Lung Association at or 312-801-7628.

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Allison MacMunn

Allison MacMunn
since: 10/2008
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