Asthma, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways, is estimated by the World Health Organization to affect 150 million people worldwide and its global pharmacotherapeutic costs exceed $5 billion per year. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) provides clinical care to -7000 asthmatic children in the primary care and specialty clinics. Last year, over 3000 children were treated in the CCHMC Emergency Department with the primary diagnosis of an acute asthma exacerbation, and 885 patients (29.5%) were admitted to the hospital for management of acute asthma exacerbations. CCHMC has invested considerable resources to promote asthma research including the establishment of the Division of Asthma Research, which has partnered with the Asthma Center to create a comprehensive Asthma Program, which now provides a central base for the clinical and research activities for asthma at CCHMC. Patients suffering from asthma share similar clinical symptoms, but the disease is heterogenous in terms of phenotypes and natural history 3, 4. This heterogeneity contributes to the difficulty in both studying and treating asthma. The heterogeneity in asthma is poorly understood and the mechanisms by which genetic and environmental influences impact asthma development and asthma disease expression are largely unknown. As such, the proposed Asthma Research Core has the central goal of improving the understanding of the heterogeneity in asthma. In order to accomplish this goal, we propose 2 aims:
Aim #1 : To recruit or promote a new faculty member into the tenure track to develop a research program focused a topic relevant to elucidating the mechanisms contributing to asthma heterogeneity.
Aim #2 : To develop a pilot research program in Asthma Research to support new faculty in the tenure track in the areas outlined above. The frequency of absent or incomplete efficacy in asthma treatment is as high as 70%, due to the inherent heterogeneity in asthma phenotypes caused by multiple genetic and environmental influences. The central goal of this proposal is to improve the understanding of the heterogeneity in asthma. Improved understanding of asthma phenotypes will enable informed personalized treatment plans and likely will result in substantial reduction in asthma expenditures.
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