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ATS Foundation Awards Dr. Esra Roan $40,000 for Pulmonary Study

For release: November 22, 2013
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

Dr. Esra Roan
Dr. Esra Roan

Dr. Esra Roan, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Memphis, has received an Early Career Investigator Award from the American Thoracic Society Foundation to aid her investigation into new medical therapies for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

ARDS is a severe and life-threatening syndrome in the lungs that is characterized by inflammation, hypoxia and multiple organ failure. The condition has a 40 to 60 percent death rate if left untreated. 

Roan will use the $40,000 grant to improve the understanding of the biophysical forces that contribute to ARDS, which is a major first step in identifying effective new treatments. She hopes her research will inform new physiologic or pharmacologic strategies directed toward protecting the lung lining and promoting its repair at the onset of ARDS, which may prevent the syndrome from becoming life threatening.

The award of this grant will have an enormous impact on the early stages of my career in pulmonary research,” Roan says. “Specifically, this funding will allow me to continue research and to obtain the preliminary results needed towards future applications at a time when funding rates remain low.”

The ATS Foundation has granted $280,000 in research awards to support early career investigators like Roan, whose work is deemed highly meritorious by the National Institutes of Health but is unfunded. The goal of the award is to enable these young researchers to continue their initial research so that they may reapply with an even stronger application to NIH or other funders. 

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