SARANAC LAKE - Trudeau Institute researcher Alexei V. Tumanov has been awarded a highly competitive research grant from the American Lung Association, the institute announced in a Tuesday press release.
The $40,000 grant per year for the next two years is intended to provide seed money 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- 015 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 caused 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, the institute says 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 is meant to provide a deeper understanding of the fundamental mechanisms controlling lung damage and will help in developing new strategies for treating respiratory disease.