|NIAID Awards Five-Year, $56 Million Contract to Continue Study of Asthma in Inner City Children
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID),
part of the National Institutes of Health, has renewed the contract
to continue studying asthma in children living in lower-income,
inner city environments. This five-year, $56 million award will
support the Inner-City Asthma Consortium (ICAC), a nationwide clinical
trials network to evaluate promising new therapies to reduce asthma
severity and prevent disease, and to perform basic research to
understand how these therapies work.
"As many as 20 million Americans have asthma, but it disproportionately afflicts
children, especially minority children who live in inner city areas," says Anthony
S. Fauci, M.D., director of NIAID, which supports ICAC. "ICAC research has generated
new insights that have improved how we prevent and treat asthma, especially in
this vulnerable target population. We expect this new contract will help us to
further improve the lives of children with asthma."
The primary goal of ICAC is to reduce the burden of asthma in children and adolescents
living in the inner city. The new network of 10 basic and clinical ICAC research
sites will be led by William Busse, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Investigators at participating sites will develop and conduct clinical trials
that evaluate the safety and efficacy of promising immune-based therapies designed
to reduce asthma severity and prevent disease. In addition, the researchers will
examine what makes inner-city asthma different from that in other environments.
Another goal is to determine what causes exacerbations (a worsening of asthma
symptoms) and develop appropriate treatments.
The ICAC researchers will also continue the Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma
Study, which enrolled 500 inner city children at birth, starting in 2005, and
is following them until age 7 to see if they develop asthma. The investigators
expect that the information collected in this study will identify specific infectious,
genetic or immunologic factors that place inner city children at risk for asthma.
NIAID's support of inner city asthma research began in 1991 with the National
Cooperative Inner-City Asthma Study, which was followed by the Inner-City Asthma
Study. Investigators from these consortia demonstrated that reducing the exposure
of children to allergens commonly found in urban environments--including those
originating from cockroaches, rodents and second-hand smoke--reduced their risk
of developing asthma. Building on the accomplishments of these two programs,
NIAID first established ICAC in 2002.
"Earlier ICAC studies demonstrated that asthma, even in inner city populations,
can be well-controlled using current asthma treatment guidelines," says Daniel
Rotrosen, M.D., director of the NIAIDís Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation. "Nonetheless,
the need remains to better understand the underlying causes of inner city asthma
and develop improved treatment options. ICAC, with its expert investigators and
established clinical sites, is uniquely positioned to meet these objectives."
Investigators at eight clinical and two basic research sites nationwide will
participate in the new ICAC.
The primary investigators at the eight clinical sites are
- Rebecca Gruchalla, M.D., Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical
- Meyer Kattan, M.D., Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons,
New York City
- Andrew Liu, M.D., National Jewish Health, Denver
- George OíConnor, M.D., Boston University School of Medicine
- Jacqueline Pongracic, M.D., Childrenís Memorial Hospital, Chicago
- Stephen Teach, M.D., MPH, George Washington University School of Medicine
and Health Sciences, Washington, D.C.
- Robert Wood, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore
- Edward Zoratti, M.D., Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
The primary investigators at the two basic research sites are
- Homer Boushey, M.D., University of California, San Francisco
- David Schwartz, M.D., National Jewish Health, Denver
NIAID conducts and supports research — at NIH, throughout the United States, and
worldwide — to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and
to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses.
News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on
the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.