Asthma is a complex disease affects more and more children, especially in inner cities and the Western World. Washington, DC, has the highest rate of pediatric asthma in the country, creating a unique opportunity to study the disease from all angles.
Children’s National also is one of only 10 sites nationwide that are part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)-funded Inner City Asthma Consortium (ICAC). The ICAC studies monitoring and immune-based treatments with the potential to help inner city and disadvantaged children with asthma.
Using high-tech methods, scientists at the Center for Genetic Medicine Research investigate the ways that specific genes affect the overproduction of mucous in the lungs, which leads to dangerous airway blockages. They also are investigating how environmental factors, such as smoke and dust, can cause lung disease. The goal is to develop new, more effective treatments. The Asthma and Lung Disease Program at the Center for Genetic Medicine actively researches:
The role of the MUC5AC gene in airway health and diseases.
How glucocorticoids stop the MUC5AC gene from working.
The genes and pathways that cause goblet cell metaplasia.
How steroids resynchronize epithelial cell repair.
How genes and environmental tobacco smoke contribute to asthma.