UA's Arizona Respiratory Center Receives $2.26 Million Grant For Study of Asthma in Inner-City

<p>UA's Arizona Respiratory Center Receives $2.26 Million Grant</p>

UA's Arizona Respiratory Center Receives $2.26 Million Grant For Study of Asthma in Inner-City

Among poor inner-city children, asthma is more severe and less likely to receive the consistent, long-term medical treatment that more affluent families can maintain. Plus, because inner-city children tend to spend more time indoors than other children, certain indoor allergens can greatly increase their asthma symptoms.
The Arizona Respiratory Center at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center is part of the Inner-City Asthma Consortium (ICAC), a nationwide research network established with the goal of reducing the severity of asthma and preventing the disease in inner-city children, a group that suffers disproportionately from asthma. As a member of ICAC, the Arizona Respiratory Center was awarded a $2.26 million, six-year grant from NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The grant will fund the development of immune-based therapeutic intervention and design of clinical trails to test the effectiveness of selected immune-based therapies. The study will begin in early 2003.

Wayne Morgan, MD, associate director of the Arizona Respiratory Center and UA professor of pediatrics and physiology, will chair the ICAC committee on the measurement and monitoring of lung function in study subjects. Dr. Morgan has had a long-standing involvement in asthma clinical research studies on the role of infections on asthma pathogenesis, environmental control for inner-city asthma, and training of clinically competent health care leaders to work with children with chronic respiratory illnesses and families.

"We are tremendously excited to study immune-based therapies in asthma. It is important to note that we could not do this without the support of community physicians and health centers such as El Rio Community Health Center," Dr. Morgan says.

The measurement of lung function will play a central role in the design and implementation of both proposed and future Inner-City Asthma Consortium protocols. According to the project proposal, the use of the innovative methods in younger children is important precisely because it appears that both the immunologic and physiologic antecedents of persistent, severe asthma begin early in life.

The Arizona Respiratory Center was designated the first Center of Excellence at the UA College of Medicine in 1971. Today, the internationally known Center combines the highest caliber of research, clinical care and teaching. The Center is recognized as one of the top institutions for respiratory care.