As Le Bonheur respiratory research grows, a broad range of scientists are working together to lend expertise to a variety of projects tackling RSV, asthma, influenza and more.
Their goal: a better understanding of these conditions, viable drug therapies and brighter futures for children.
John DeVincenzo, MD, has spent the past 15 years developing therapeutic and prevention strategies against respiratory syncytial virus.
Stephania Cormier, PhD, and her six-member research team are learning how early environmental exposure to respiratory viruses like influenza and RSV, allergens and pollutants can predispose or exacerbate asthma in adulthood.
Jon McCullers, MD, and Amali Samarasinghe, PhD, study how the state of allergic airways at the time of influenza virus infections impact pathogenesis. They have established that acute allergic asthma reduces morbidity and mortality from secondary bacterial infections, and are now working to delineate mechanisms that may be involved in this protection.
Bindiya Bagga, MD, is developing tools to define the mucosal immune response required for effective protection against RSV infection. She also collaborates with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists in a nascent trial of a vaccine designed to expose children to parts of the RSV virus genetically engineered so as not to be able to fully replicate. Her work is expected to advance the development of RSV vaccine.
Young-In Kim Hohamer, PhD, is creating a tool to measure how much immune response adults and infants have to effectively fight RSV. Her work is expected to help other researchers develop better preventions and therapeutic options to fight the virus.
Betty Lew, MD, is developing a new class of medicine for asthma, called mannan, that could treat children who don’t respond to steroids or bronchodilators.
Sandra Arnold, MD, and Jon McCullers, MD, helped conduct the largest-ever study of the incidence and cause of community-acquired pneumonia in hospitalized children. They expect to begin publishing results this year.
Anami Patel, PhD, serves as technical director of the molecular diagnostic lab, which tests specimens from patients with respiratory symptoms – helping physicians make better clinical decisions.