Once considered a single disease, asthma is now recognized as a heterogeneous syndrome or spectrum of diseases with complex interactions between environmental and genetic factors that cause airway inflammation and bronchospasm – leading to coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, even death. Despite some overlap in symptomatology, drivers of illness and inflammatory pathways are highly variable resulting in a myriad of clinical presentations and trajectories. People with severe asthma often experience high rates of exacerbations, emergency department visits, hospitalizations and school or work absenteeism. They often find themselves unable to perform simple activities of daily living. Each person’s asthma experience is unique to them, and the MI Asthma Research team is investigating the different causes, and precise ways to treat asthma symptoms.
The MI Asthma Research portfolio specializes in risk prediction, early intervention, and risk mitigation in severe adult asthma. For example, our current research is focused on measures to reduce long term side effects of oral corticosteroids, block proteins that exacerbate lung inflammation, and target precise therapies to patients who share similar biomarker characteristics. With support from the National Institute of Health, MI Asthma investigators are also studying new approaches that can identify markers of response earlier and utilize these markers to provide targeted therapies reducing the risks of attacks and poor asthma control.
“I am excited about the possibility of developing biomarkers that enhance our ability to risk-stratify patients and select therapies that are driven by each individual’s biology,” said primary investigator Dr. Njira Lugogo. “I’m encouraged by the advent of technologies that can improve delivery of medications to the lungs such as the possibility of using inhaled biologics, small molecules that target inflammatory pathways in novel ways and disease-modifying therapeutics that can switch off dysregulated immune responses.”
Please visit the MI Asthma Research website for more information about our research and our severe asthma clinical studies.