Previously Funded

Asthma Research

Danit Ariel, MD

Stanford University Medical Center
Funded by: Respiratory Health Association, The CHEST Foundation

The prevalence and severity of asthma is progressively increasing, and it is estimated that women account for 65% of deaths related to asthma. Recent research indicates that there is a relationship between obesity and asthma, and that insulin resistance may be the potential link. Dr. Ariel’s research seeks to identify the role that insulin-resistance-directed therapy plays in achieving better asthma control, and explore associated gender differences.

Samuel Dorevitch, MD

University of Illinois at Chicago
Funded by: Respiratory Health Association Research Grant

A dominant theory about the link between asthma and obesity focuses on inflammation (a component of both conditions) and an element of inflammation called oxidative stress. Dr. Dorevitch is investigating the relationship between asthma, obesity and oxidative stress within an urban African American community to gain more information about the link between asthma and obesity.

Ravi Kalhan, MD

Northwestern University
Funded by: Respiratory Health Association Research Grant

Asthma is a complex disease that is determined by multiple genetic and environmental factors. Some research has noted a relationship between dietary intake of soy isoflavone and asthma severity. In particular, some research has shown that higher consumption of soy leads to decreased self report of cough and other respiratory symptoms. Dr. Kalhan is currently investigating whether dietary supplementation with soy will improve lung function, reduce symptoms and decrease airway inflammation.

Jerry Krishnan, MD

University of Chicago
Funded by: American Thoracic Society/Respiratory Health Association Research Grant

Conventional treatment for a severe asthma attack includes using corticosteroids orally or intravenously, and the use of inhaled bronchodilators. These treatments, however, can take hours or days to provide benefits. Dr. Krishnan is examining the benefits of using high-doses of inhaled corticosteroids, in addition to conventional treatment, as a potential new therapy to improve outcomes of patients hospitalized for asthma.

Anne Marie Singh, MD

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Funded by: Respiratory Health Association, Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation

Many children wheeze at a young age, but not all children who wheeze will develop asthma. Dr. Singh works with children who are too young to have been diagnosed or who have not yet received a positive diagnosis. For the study, she reviews the children’s medical histories and takes a blood sample to find immune markers, allergic antibodies and other responses to triggers. She looks for commonalities among children who eventually develop asthma, such as similar immune responses or antibody levels.

COPD Research

Kyle Hogarth, MD

University of Chicago
Funded by:Respiratory Health Association Catch Your Breath Research Award

Dr. Hogarth’s research involves screening fluorescence bronchoscopy; a test that may improve early detection of pre-cancerous lesions in the large airways that are not detected by CT scan. Dr. Hogarth is looking at the clinical differences in men versus women for the detection of pre-cancerous lesions as well as the differences amongst women that develop lesions compared to those that do not.

Funded by: Baxter Bioscience Educational Grant

Dr. Hogarth is designing a program to demonstrate that a direct-to-consumer education and awareness campaign can increase the number of COPD patients tested for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (Alpha-1). Alpha-1 is an inherited disorder that can cause lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Valerie Press, MD, MS

The University of Chicago
Project: Video vss. TTG Respiratory inhaler technique Assessment and Instruction (V-TRAIN)
Funded by: Respiratory Health Association, American Thoracic Society Foundation, Emphysema Foundation for Our Right to Survive (EFFORTS)

Dr. Press is studying the effectiveness of a video-based strategy to teach hospitalized people living with COPD how to use their inhalers properly. This approach may improve patient management of their disease and reduce costs associated with hospitalization.

Sharon Rosenberg, MD

Northwestern University
Funded by:Respiratory Health Association Catch Your Breath Research Award

In 2000, for the first time, the number of women dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) surpassed the number of men. Research has recently indicated that there are important differences in the presentation and course of COPD in men versus women. Dr. Rosenberg is researching COPD, including gender-based differences in co-morbid conditions (2 or more diseases that occur together) and gender-based differences in health status related to COPD.

Lung Cancer Research

Maurizio Bocchetta, PhD

Loyola University Medical Center
Funded by: Respiratory Health Association

Dr. Bocchetta is researching the potential for the OTUD6B enzyme to stabilize lung cells and prevent cancer growth by inhibiting degradation of an important protein. The study will provide insights into whether this protein can be a novel therapeutic target in lung cancer.

Navdeep Chandel, MD

Northwestern University
Funded by: Lung Cancer Promise of Tomorrow Award*

Dr. Chandel’s research involves adenocarcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer that is increasingly affecting nonsmokers. Adenocarcinoma accounts for 30% of non-small cell lung cancer cases. Dr. Chandel is looking at a novel cellular signaling system that may lead to the development of adenocarcinoma. Understanding how this signaling system works in the cells may eventually lead to the development of new therapies to treat and prevent adenocarcinoma.

*Funding provided by LUNGevity Foundation, Respiratory Health Association, Arkansas Respiratory Health Association, Breathe California of the Bay Area, Breathe California of Los Angeles County and Breathe New Hampshire.

Ravi Salgia, MD, PhD

University of Chicago
Funded by: Chicago Lung Run, Respiratory Health Association

Dr. Salgia and his colleagues at University of Chicago are studying features of lung cancer gene cells to determine variants and methods to detect those variants. The ultimate goal is to correlate responses to drug therapy.

Funded by: Chicago Lung Run, Respiratory Health Association

Adenocarcinoma is a type of non-small cell lung cancer, and is the most common type of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Dr. Salgia’s research involves studying the biomarkers in tumors and blood of women who smoke and women who don’t smoke with adenocarcinoma. This highly innovative research will provide findings that may be helpful in developing a blood test for adenocarcinoma in women, as well as provide some insight into the genes that may involved.

Jordi Tauler, PhD

University of Illinois at Chicago
Funded by: Chicago Lung Run, Respiratory Health Association

Dr. Tauler is identifying mutations that drive cancer development and investigating the genes that these mutations affect, including myosin light chain kinase (MYLK), the pseudogene MYLKP1 and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2/B1 (hnRNP A2/B1). By studying cells found in lung tumors, he hopes to learn more about how cells mutate to form non-small cell lung cancer tumors.

Other Lung Diseases Research

Bria Coates, MD, Instructor

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Project: Role of NOD­-like receptor proteins in juvenile influenza A virus infection
Funded by: Respiratory Health Association

Summary: Dr. Coates is investigating the role of IAV in development of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). The Influenza A virus (IAV) is a highly contagious virus that causes respiratory infections in up to 40% of children each year. Both the virus and the immune system’s response to the virus can damage the lungs in IAV Infection, leading to ARDS. Her goal is to determine how NLRP3 and NOD2 contribute to IAV induced lung injury in children.

Blanca Camoretti-Mercado, PhD

University of Chicago
Project: Molecular Mechanisms Involved with the Development of LAM
Funded by: Respiratory Health Association Catch Your Breath Research Award

Dr. Camoretti-Mercado is researching LAM (lymphangioleiomyomatosis), a rare lung disease that mostly affects women in their 30s and 40s. In particular, Dr. Camoretti-Mercado is looking into the molecular mechanisms involved with the development of LAM. Increased understanding may lead to new and effective therapies for LAM.

Lt. Angela DiCarlo-Meacham, MC, USN, MD

US Naval Hospital
Project: Exercise during pregnancy and prevention of dyspnea of pregnancy
Funded by: The CHEST Foundatioin, Respiratory Health Association

Summary: Lt. Angela Di-Carlo-Meacham, MC, USN, MD, U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Obstetrics and Gynecology, is investigating exercise and dyspnea during pregnancy. Approximately 70 percent of women experience dyspnea, which is difficulty breathing during pregnancy. Often, this uncomfortable feeling is a normal body response to pregnancy. The goal of the study is to evaluate the effect of regular aerobic exercise throughout pregnancy on the development of dyspnea of pregnancy.

Laura Frye, MD

University of Chicago Medicine
Project: Regional Pathologic and Metagenomic Heterogeneity in IPF
Funded by: Respiratory Health Association

Summary: Dr. Frye is creating a database through analysis of the existing lung tissue bank from explanted IPF lungs. The study will look at the relationship between the host immune system and the pulmonary microbiome in an effort to correlate microbial presence and diversity to fibrosis in IPF.

Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium

A number of tuberculosis research projects were conducted through a 10-year contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This research, through the CDC’s Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium and in collaboration with the Metropolitan Chicago Tuberculosis Coalition, works to strengthen, focus and coordinate tuberculosis research.


For more information about RHA’s involvement in research, contact Rachael Morkunas, Senior Program Manager, via email at or by phone at (312) 628-0233.