FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 24, 2009
Contact: Jake Rubin
KAGEN LAUDS GRANT FOR ASTHMA RESEARCH
AT LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY
(APPLETON, WI) Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. expressed special appreciation after the National Institute of Health awarded Lawrence University a grant for biochemical research through the provisions of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.
David Hall, associate professor of chemistry, will receive $30,824 from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases division to fund four additional summer research students in 2009. This latest grant supplements a previous NIH grant for $206,000 Hall received in 2006 initiate his current project. Kagen is a triple board-certified specialist in Allergy, Immunology and Internal Medicine.
“Understanding the human immune system is critical to improving the health of all of us, especially those with asthma,” Dr. Kagen said.
Hall’s research examines the mechanisms by which rhinovirus, better known as the common cold, activates immune cells known as macrophages, leading to the exacerbation of asthma. Previous studies have identified immune cells as playing an important role in increasing the severity of irritation of the respiratory system during an asthma attack, but the details of the role of macrophages are still very poorly understood.
The NIH grant will expand to eight the total number of students working on this problem in Hall’s laboratory this summer and also will provide $4,000 for research supplies and equipment.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16.2 million adults and 6.7 million children are afflicted with asthma. In 2006 (the most recent year figures are available), asthma-related problems resulted in nearly 11 million doctor visits and accounted for more than 3,600 deaths.
The Recovery Act provides NIH with $10.4 billion to be invested over the next two years into accelerating biomedical research and training greater numbers of future science researchers and teachers.