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UT Collaborates Statewide to Answer NIH Request for Asthma Research

A group of clinicians, nurses, scientists, engineers, social scientists and community partners from statewide UT institutions participated in an interactive workshop to discuss a National Institutes for Health funding opportunity focused on reducing childhood asthma disparities. A group of 23 attendees from UT Health Science Center, UT Chattanooga, UT Institute of Agriculture, UT Graduate School of Medicine, and UT Knoxville spent the day sharing capabilities and trading ideas, and by the end of the day, they had a compelling story and a lot of enthusiasm to move forward with a grant submission.

“This is truly an example of Team Science in action,” said Greg Heath, DHSc, MPH, Assistant Provost for Research and Engagement at UT Chattanooga. James Neutens, PhD, Dean, UTGSM, added that he could not recall such a multi-campus response around a single focused opportunity during his time in the UT system.

According to the NIH website, the funding opportunity is to support clinical trials to evaluate Asthma Care Implementation Programs (ACIP) that provide comprehensive care for children at high risk of poor asthma outcomes. The community-based ACIPs are expected to address the needs of the U.S. community in which the study will be conducted and integrate interventions with demonstrated efficacy from four different sectors (medical care, family, home, and community). Applications must include a trial designed to assess if the ACIP improves asthma outcomes relative to an appropriate comparator(s) and a subsequent period of observation to evaluate sustainability.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, asthma affects approximately 7.1 million children in America, which is about 8 percent of all children, and is considered one of the most common chronic medical conditions of childhood. A 2015 report by the AAFA listed Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga as 3 of the top 10 most challenging cities to live with asthma due to low air quality and cigarette smoke exposure. The health and economic impact of asthma is substantial, making it a target national health concern.

Posted February 2, 2016


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