Faculty Awarded NIH Grant to Improve Lung Health

The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has awarded Duke Anesthesiology’s Satya Achanta, DVM, PhD, and Sven-Eric Jordt, PhD, a three-year $1,430,370 R01 grant for their project titled, “Pulmonary Cell Fate and Lung Repair in Rodent and Porcine Models of Chlorine and Phosgene Inhalation Injuries.”

The grant is funded through the NIH’s CCRP Initiative: Chemical Threat Agent-Induced Pulmonary and Ocular Pathophysiological Mechanisms. It will support studies investigating the cell types of the lung sensitive to damage by phosgene and chlorine gas, and how these cells can be protected to heal the lung.

Chlorine and phosgene gases used in chemical warfare pose a grave threat to lung health, with no mechanism-based countermeasures available. “We are very proud of this funding opportunity. Although chlorine and phosgene gas-induced pulmonary injuries have been studied for a long time with a primary emphasis on medical countermeasure identification and development, no substantial progress has been made,” says Achanta and Jordt. “Our proposal will identify pulmonary epithelial, endothelial, and stem cells that play a key role in mediating injury and resolution. We hope that the fundamental understanding of pulmonary cell fate will help us identify key biomarkers and drug targets. Our team is uniquely positioned to conduct these studies in the nation.”

Co-investigators of this study include Drs. Aleksandra Tata and Purushothama Tata of Duke Cell Biology.