On Tuesday, March 11, 2009, members of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR) joined patient advocacy organization and physicians to promote issues important to lung patients. Congressman Danny Davis spent no fewer than 45 minutes with us discussing critically important issues that not only affect the ARDS Community but also lung patients in general.
American Thoracic Society/ARDS Foundation/Sepsis Alliance Partnership Grant:
Dr Maniatis M.D., Ph.D. Nikolaos Maniatis, M.D., Ph.D. National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Research: “Role of transcellular permeability via endothelial caveolae in ventilator-induced lung injury”
Acute Lung Injury (ALI) is a serious complication of conditions such as sepsis, pneumonia and severe burns. Features of ALI include extensive lung inflammation, flooding of airspaces with protein-rich fluid filtered through leaky blood vessels (pulmonary edema) and compromise of the lung’s main function, which is to facilitate the passage of oxygen to the blood.
Mechanical respiration is frequently required to support patients with ALI. This unphysiological mode of breathing can not only worsen the preexisting lung condition, resulting in further deterioration of lung function, but also exert detrimental effects on remote organs (ventilator-induced lung injury-VILI).
In fact, a substantial number of ALI-related deaths have been attributed to this treatment. The observation that blood vessels in lungs with ALI leak fluid and protein from the blood has directed research efforts towards the mechanisms of vascular permeability in health and disease. The prevailing view is that edema fluid in ALI leaks through loosened contact sites between endothelial cells (EC), the cells that line the blood vessel interior. However, an alternate system of protein and fluid trafficking through EC exists, which utilizes cell membrane vesicles called caveolae (‘small caves’).
The proposed project focuses on the role of the caveolar transport system in albumin (the most abundant protein in the blood), white blood cell and fluid trafficking as a determinant of pulmonary edema accumulation in VILI. In the first part of the project, Dr. Maniatis will explore if albumin transport across EC via caveolae is accelerated in VILI and constitutes an important determinant of pulmonary edema.
In addition, he will test the effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs (“statins”), which have been shown to disrupt caveolae, as therapeutic agents in VILI. In the second part of the study, Dr. Maniatis will intervene in the molecular mechanisms that regulate albumin and fluid uptake via caveolae in EC and specifically on the enzyme Src, a known activator of this process. He will test the notion that Src activation in the setting of mechanical stretch can trigger fluid and protein uptake via endothelial caveolae and contribute to pulmonary edema development.
These studies could help scientists and clinicians to understand the endothelial processes that take place in response to lung ovedistention in mechanical respiration. Thus, important information could be derived that would aid in developing useful treatments for a devastating problem that has no specific therapy at present.
ATS/ARDS Foundation/Sepsis Alliance Research Grant (one grant available)
ARDS ResearchThis is a joint research award that will be co-funded by the ATS, the ARDS Foundation and the American Sepsis Alliance.
One research grant will be awarded to support novel studies of areas related to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) caused by Sepsis. Applicants may request up to $50,000/year for 2 years for salaries, supplies or a combination of these two. Applicants must meet the criteria listed below. A primary goal of the ATS research program is to enable new faculty-level investigators to make the transition to careers as established investigators. Partnerships between junior and senior investigators are strongly encouraged, particularly for new investigators who are within 1 to 5 years of the completion of their training. Both US and non-US based investigators are encouraged to apply. At least one of the investigators must be an ATS member at the time of application, and the principal investigator must be an ATS member at the time that the grant is awarded. Indirect costs will not be paid to the sponsoring institution.
Please visit the ATS Website to view the full grant submission information. Please contact Monica Simon at the ATS office with any questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
2006 ATS Conference
For additional information regarding how to apply for this grant, review the requirements on the American Thoracic Society’s website under ATS/ARDS Foundation Research Grant.
2005 ATS Conference