Spotlight: NIH Grant for COPD and IPF

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When the National Institutes of Health recently awarded funding to help find cures for two of the world’s deadliest lung diseases, it selected 22 of the finest medical research centers in the United States.

Of these, UT Health Northeast was one of only two selected in Texas, and the only one in the East Texas region. We are joined in this important U.S. research initiative by such national leaders as the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University, and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Our mission is to identify and help develop promising new treatments for two of the most difficult-to-treat, incurable, and deadly lung diseases: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). COPD is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, killing about 120,000 Americans each year. IPF, or lung tissue scarring, impacts about 200,000 Americans and often results in death.

Using small tissue samples obtained from volunteer donors during surgery, UT Health Northeast researchers will examine the molecular pathways involved in the development and progression of these diseases, which will lead to better understanding of and improved treatments for them.

What does this mean to our patients? It means they benefit from the deep knowledge and expertise of our physician researchers, which puts us on the leading-edge of lung disease treatment.

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