The Lung Transplant Foundation has awarded a grant of $60,000 to Dr. Scott Palmer, Associate Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. The grant will further Dr. Palmer’s research using rodent models to learn more about the basic mechanisms that cause BOS or bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. BOS is a type of chronic rejection that affects many lung transplant recipients and for which no known cure exists.
Half of the $60,000 was directed to Dr. Palmer’s research by an anonymous donor, who asked the LTF to match his gift, marking the second time the LTF has matched a gift from this donor and directed it to Dr. Palmer’s research.
“We were challenged by an individual to match his grant to Dr. Palmer, who is one of the country’s leading researchers trying to find a cure for BOS,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of the Lung Transplant Foundation. “As a direct result of our [first] grant, Dr. Palmer has established the first rodent model of BOS that replicates the pathological, biological and physiological features of the human disease.”
In the past, researchers have replicated some of the disease features in mice, but never fully duplicated the human condition, limiting the ability to truly understand the cause and treatments for BOS.
The research by Dr. Palmer that was funded through the LTF’s previous matching grant has already generated some important leads in terms of novel pathways that might contribute to the development of BOS, Dr. Palmer said. He recently published his work in a leading pulmonary journal (Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 May 9. [Epub ahead of print]).
In addition, the model and preliminary research funded through the LTF matching grant was critical in Dr. Palmer’s obtaining a new two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health scheduled to start in September for more than $250,000.
“It’s fantastic to be able to do it, especially knowing that the grant has had a significant result in moving this research forward,” Goldstein said. “We’re keenly aware, however, that it’s not nearly enough, and we need to continue our efforts to raise funds for this valuable research and that of others in order to move to a discovery of a BOS cure.
“Our hope is to eventually fund a broad portfolio of research in BOS that ranges from basic models to clinical trials and that, ultimately, leads to improved long-term outcomes for lung transplant patients. ”