4 R37 HL066289-10 - MERIT Extension Principal Investigator/Program Director (Last, First, Middle): WEISS, Scott T. PROJECT SUIVIMARY (See instructions): Asthma remains a major public health problem in the United States and worldwide affecting 300 million people in the US with health care costs of >20 billion dollars/year. Asthma Is a complex disease, likely influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Asthma genetic epidemiology has made significant progress identifying over 43 genes via candidate gene studies, 6 genes via linkage and fine mapping and 3 genes via genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Although asthma is a significant cause of morbidity among certain Hispanic groups in the US (e.g., Puerto Ricans) and Hispanic America (e.g., Costa Ricans), relatively few genetic studies have included Hispanic individuals. Most - but not all - Hispanics have variable proportions of European, Amerindian, and African ancestry, and there is marked variation in asthma prevalence and severity within Hispanic sub-populations, making genetic studies of asthma in Hispanics particularly challenging. To reduce this heterogeneity, we have been studying the genetics of asthma in a relatively homogeneous Hispanic population with high prevalence of asthma (~24% in adolescents) in the Central Valley of Costa Rica for the past 8 years. For this renewal, we have combined our Costa Rican population with the CAMP trios to attempt to identify all the genes for childhood asthma. We will continue to contribute to advancing our understanding of asthma genetics by using novel methods to find replicated asthma genes. In addition, multiple sets of studies are available for this grant application to provide the unique opportunity to identify genetic determinants of asthma that are specific to Hispanic populations, while, at the same time, universal genetic determinants that are relevant for Hispanic populations and Caucasian populations will be discovered. To identify these variants we will perform three different joint-analysis of the available GWAS: a joint analysis of Costa Rica and CAMP will be performed, followed by an in silico meta analysis of Costa Rica and Mexican trios from the EVE consortium and, finally, an overall analysis of Costa Rica, CAMP, and EVE. We believe that by conducting our proposed genome-wide association study, we will have the most powerful and comprehensive approach to identification of asthma-susceptibility genes, and our bioinformatics tools will allow us to take full advantage of information deriving from our experiments to create a bioinformatically-integrated program in ainway disease genetics.

Public Health Relevance

To date, there has been only one genome-wide association study of asthma and/or its intermediate phenotypes in a Hispanic (Mexican) population. Our study addresses an insufficiently studied problem: the genetics of asthma in Hispanic subgroups disproportionately affected by asthma: Hispanics in general and Costa Ricans in particular. This proposal should lead to the identification of asthma-susceptibility genes in general, and among Hispanics in particular.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
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Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
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Banks-Schlegel, Susan P
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Brigham and Women's Hospital
United States
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