UofM Researcher Receives $3.2 Million Grant To Study Early Prevention of Lung Disease

September 12, 2016 - Dr. Wilfried Karmaus, professor in the Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Environmental Health at the University of Memphis School of Public Health, has been awarded a R01 grant of $3.2 million by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.

The funded study will aim to improve early prevention of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is essential to reducing the burden of these high-impact diseases.

Intra-uterine conditions are critical for development during childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Researchers will study whether metabolites, nutrients and toxins in maternal serum during pregnancy are associated with methylation at specific sites in the genomic DNA in blood cells collected after delivery. Then they will test whether the methylation of these genomic sites is associated with lung growth between the ages of 10 and 18, and a decline at 26.

"In the future, this will allow us improve intra-uterine conditions to prevent lung diseases," said Karmaus.

Karmaus, Hongmei Zhang and Su Chen of the University of Memphis will collaborate with Michigan State University, the Ilse of Wight Asthma and Allergy Centre and the Universities of Southampton and Bristol in the United Kingdom, and the Hokkaido University in Japan.

Gabrielle Maxey