Trudeau Institute researcher awarded American Lung Association grant
SARANAC LAKE, New York (August 5, 2014) – Trudeau Institute researcher Alexei V. Tumanov, M.D., Ph.D., has been awarded a highly-competitive research grant from the American Lung Association (ALA). The grant is intended to provide seed monies over a two-year period to a junior investigator researching the mechanisms of lung disease and general lung biology.
In 2013 ALA invited the “best and brightest basic science researchers” to submit an application for the 2014-2015 grant cycle and considered a number of factors, including scientific merit, innovation, feasibility of the research plan and its relevance to ALA’s mission.
The focus of Tumanov’s funded project is the immune regulation of lung damage induced by highly-contagious influenza virus infection.
Lung damage induced by epidemic and pandemic influenza infection is a significant cause of mortality and remains a serious threat to public health, with an annual death toll in the United States of approximately 36,000. The majority of current therapeutic approaches against influenza are focused on the development of antiviral drugs or the stimulation of protective cellular or antibody responses. However, increasing resistance to antiviral drugs, the appearance of novel virus epitopes, and immune system-mediated lung damage often limit the efficacy of these approaches.
Tumanov’s research will provide a deeper understanding of the fundamental mechanisms controlling lung damage and will help in developing new strategies for treating respiratory disease.
Tumanov joined the Trudeau Institute in July 2011 as an Assistant Member following postdoctoral work in the University of Chicago’s Department of Pathology. His research focuses on the regulation of mucosal immunity, cancer and host response to pathogens. He earned his M.D. from Russian State Medical University and did his doctoral work at the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow, in collaboration with several laboratories, including one at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
Tumanov was previously the recipient of both the Career Development Award and the Young Investigator Award from Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and, earlier this year, was selected for a three-year senior research award from CCFA.
Immune regulation of lung diseases is another promising direction of Tumanov`s research program at Trudeau.
The Trudeau Institute is a nonprofit biomedical research center founded in 1884 by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau (1848-1915), the founder and first president of the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, the precursor to the American Lung Association. Dr. Trudeau dedicated his life to researching and treating tuberculosis, a highly infectious disease that at one time killed one in seven people in the United States.
The present-day Trudeau Institute’s fundamental research on immunity fosters the development of vaccines, treatments and cures for many life-threatening diseases, including cancer, tuberculosis and influenza. The Institute is supported by federal and state grants and contributions from individuals, private foundations and corporations.