AAFA is dedicated to finding the causes, new treatments and cures for asthma and allergic diseases. AAFA offers programs that sponsor seed grants for investigators wishing to explore new areas of scientific merit related to asthma and allergic diseases.
Through its Investigator Grant Program, AAFA offers two-year, $20,000/year grants to selected investigators who have applied to the NIH for grant assistance and whose applications have received high merit review but which the NIH is unable to fund. All candidate names for these awards are provided to AAFA by the NIH, and final awardees are selected by a panel of scientists identified by AAFA under the direction of the Co-Chairs of AAFA’s Research Subcommittee.
AAFA’s research program has made great strides over the years. However, the Foundation’s research program will continue to expand and diversify in future years thanks to contributions and donations from the individuals we serve, as a pledge to our commitment to helping every asthma and allergy patient live life without limits.
Past research initiatives have also included AAFA’s recent matching-funds partnership with the American Thoracic Society (ATS) supporting targeted asthma research projects by promising young investigators:
· 2007-2008: Dr. Loren Denlinger (University of Wisconsin) for his project on the Regulation of Nucleotide Receptor Function During Airway Infection in Asthma.
· 2008-2009: Dr. Njira Lucia Lugogo (Duke University Medical Center) for a study on Obesity & Asthma.
· 2009-2010: Jeoung-Sook Shin, PhD (University of California, San Francisco) for her investigations on Role of Fc Epsilon RI Expression on Dendritic Cells in Asthma
Following are examples of research funded by AAFA through referral by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute NHLBI), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS):
· The Sheldon C. Siegel, MD AAFA Investigator Grant Award was presented for a second year to Dr. Robert Freishtat of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, acknowledging the progress in his first year of research on Gene and Environmental Tobacco Smoke. (NIEHS Referral)
· AAFA’s second awardee for Investigator Award bridge grant funding was Dr. Gilman B. Allen of the University of Vermont for his research proposal on Reflux and asthma: the mechanisms of acid-induced airways hyperresponsiveness. (NHLBI Referral)
· The first award, newly named in honor of AAFA’s President Emeritus and long-standing supporter of AAFA’s research program, Sheldon C. Siegel, MD, was presented to Dr. Robert Freishtat of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, for his research proposal on Gene and Environmental Tobacco Smoke. (NIEHS Referral)
· AAFA’s second 2008-2009 awardee for Investigator Award bridge grant funding was Dr. Tilo Winkler of Massachusetts General Hospital for his research proposal on A Complex Systems Approach to Bronchoconstriction in Asthma. (NHLBI Referral)
· Avery August, PhD, The Pennsylvania State University, Role of the tyrosine kinase ITK in experimental allergic asthma (NIAID Referral)
· Pedro Avila, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Microarray analysis of airway mucosa in asthma exacerbations (NHLBI Referral)
· Stephen C. Dreskin, MD, PhD, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Redefining the major peanut allergens (NIAID Referral)
· Richard T. Strait, MD, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Inhibition of immunopathology by blocking antibodies (NIAID Referral).
· Anthony A. Horner, MD, University of California, San Diego, Analysis of airway-TLR ligand interactions and their impact on CD4 cell differentiation (NHLBI referral)
· David Lewis, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Mechanisms of viral induced asthma: role of TH1 cytokines and dendritic cells (NIAID Referral)
· Vincenzo Casolaro, MD, Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center, Regulation of IL-4 cells involved in allergic disease (NIAID Referral)
· Amy Simon, MD, Tufts University School of Medicine, The role of the Jak-STAT pathway in airway remodeling (NHLBI Referral)
· David Corry, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, The role and mechanisms of action of the cytokine, IL-13, in the lung (NHLBI Referral)
· Juan José Lafaille, PhD, New York University School of Medicine, In vivo regulation of IgE production (NIAID Referral)
· Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, Children’s Hospital Research Foundation, Biology of IL-4 Receptor Allelic Variants (NIAID Referral)