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American Asthma Foundation - $8M in Asthma Research Grants Awarded to 12 Scientists

$8 Million in Asthma Research Grants Awarded to 12 Scientists

San Francisco, CA | Posted on July 8th, 2009

Marion O. Sandler, Chairman of the Board of the American Asthma Foundation (AAF), named twelve distinguished scientists, chosen from a pool of 327 applicants, to receive a total of $8 million in research grants. These awards are given to outstanding scientists to investigate cutting-edge approaches to improving treatments, prevention and, eventually, curing asthma. In announcing these awards, Sandler stated, "These grants reflect the AAF's emphasis on innovation as the major weapon in the fight against asthma, a disease that affects one in every 13 Americans."

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: www.prnewswire.com/mnr/aaf/39067/

The $8 million will be allocated among awardees who will each receive up to $750,000 over a three-year period. This year's winners join the past 110 grant recipients researching potentially-groundbreaking approaches to address the asthma epidemic. As in previous years, awardees come from outstanding academic institutions in the United States and foreign countries and include a range of scientific disciplines, such as biology, aerospace engineering, immunology, and imaging. Some of the more innovative programs this year include:

-- How the use of nanotechnology can create an instrument that will
detect the type and severity of an asthmatic reaction to various
environmental triggers;


-- How a chemical released by rotten eggs may reduce the severity of
attacks;

and

-- How one's nerves control airway tightening and how to modify these
nerves to inhibit asthmatic reactions.

"The AAF approach is deemed successful by any measure," stated Dean Smith, the Executive Director. "American Asthma Foundation awards so far have produced 17 potential breakthrough pathways into new treatments, preventions or cures, with 11 securing pharmaceutical industry investment. Three of these breakthroughs are already in clinical trials."

To put the AAF contribution in perspective, Smith added, "Since the American Asthma Foundation began, over $70 million has been granted to awardees to pursue the basic research essential to providing relief to asthma sufferers. These funds total more than all other private money financing for asthma research combined. Moreover, AAF scientists have gone on to secure over $36 million in additional funds based on the work begun under the AAF."

Asthma is a chronic, complex disease that is a major public health problem. Over 23 million- or one in 13 -- people in the United States have asthma. -- More Americans have asthma than have coronary heart disease or cancer or Parkinson's disease. Asthma is the most serious chronic disease of childhood and disproportionately strikes the poor.

This year's winners, along with a brief description of their projects, can be seen at www.americanasthmafoundation.org.

####

About American Asthma Foundation
The American Asthma Foundation (AAF) is the only national advocacy group devoted solely to asthma, a chronic condition affecting 23 million Americans. AAF’s mission is to improve treatment, prevent, and find a cure for the disease.

In order to achieve these goals, the Foundation fosters highly innovative, cutting-edge research through the AAF’s Research Program (AAFRP), a national grants program designed to recruit outstanding investigators not previously involved in asthma research. Generous grants reward “thinking outside the box,” bringing new perspectives to diseases of the lung.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dean L. Smith,
Executive Director,
American Asthma Foundation
415-404-3464,

Copyright © prnewswire

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