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American Lung Association Relocates Asthma Clinical Research Center to the University of Arizona

 Lynn Gerald

Allergy season has arrived early in Southern Arizona this year thanks to a wet winter. For people who suffer from asthma, a chronic lung disease, Spring allergies deliver a double whammy.

Nearly 23 million Americans, including 7 million children, have asthma. Arizona has one of the highest asthma rates in the nation. In 2007, an estimated 548,000 Arizonans identified themselves as having asthma.

The American Lung Association has opened an Asthma Clinical Research Center (ACRC) at the University of Arizona. The ACRC is the nation’s largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma treatment research, attracting some of the best asthma investigators worldwide.

Professor Lynn Gerald, PhD, MA, MSPH, at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, is principal investigator of the Center, a collaboration between the Zuckerman College of Public Health and the Arizona Respiratory Center.

Gerald joined the UA in 2009 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she was director of the Lung Health Center and a professor of medicine. She was also principal investigator of the ACRC in Birmingham.

“I am very proud that I was able to transfer my Center here to the University of Arizona to continue working with this strong network to improve asthma care through clinical research,” said Gerald. “Asthma is a serious health problem. The good news is that it can be treated, and people with asthma can live normal, productive lives. But without proper treatment, asthma can be extremely dangerous, even fatal. The clinical research that we do at the ACRC is devoted to asthma treatment research.”

Current Research at ACRC

The ACRC currently is working on two studies funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The first will examine whether a dietary supplement of soy isoflavones is an effective treatment in patients with poorly controlled asthma. The second study will examine whether treatment of sinusitis (chronic disease of the nose and sinuses) with nasal steroids will improve asthma control. 

For more information about the current research or to find out if you qualify for participation, please call Clinical Research Coordinator Monica Vasquez at (520) 626-3907.

About Asthma Clinical Research Centers

The American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma treatment research, attracting some of the best asthma investigators worldwide. The ACRC network conducts large clinical trials that will have a direct impact on patient care and asthma treatment. The network consists of 18 asthma clinical research centers throughout the country and a Data Coordinating Center managed by a team at Johns Hopkins University.

The University of Arizona