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Center for Childhood Lung Research established

Mar. 29, 2018, 9:45 AM


The Department of Pediatrics has established a new Center for Childhood Lung Research to serve as a hub for investigators across multiple disciplines with the collective mission of finding ways to improve child lung health.

Respiratory diseases are responsible for a high burden of illness in children, and childhood lung health has lifelong implications. Under the leadership of Lisa Young, MD, associate professor of Pediatrics, the new center is designed to promote and conduct a spectrum of pulmonary research that will further the mission.

Lisa Young, MD

“With Vanderbilt’s long tradition as a leader in pulmonary research, the Center for Childhood Lung Research will allow us to further expand our discovery efforts with contributions from investigators across multiple clinical disciplines in the department and across Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Lisa has dedicated her career to studying, understanding and improving child lung health. Our goal is to be the preeminent center for lung research in children, and Lisa is ideally suited to lead this center in pursuit of this goal,” said Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, James C. Overall Professor and pediatrician-in-chief of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Through the center, investigators and trainees, regardless of their subspecialty or clinical division, will be able to join forces to study the basic biology of lung development, how the lung responds to injury and how to improve the care of children with a variety of lung diseases.

“The lung is affected when there is a health problem in any other part of the body in children, ranging from children with neuromuscular disease to children with congenital heart disease. Genetics is also a big part of all of this,” said Young, who is also director of the Pediatric Rare Lung Diseases Program.

“Respiratory problems in children are a major driver of hospital admissions and length of stay in the hospital. There is also lot of evidence that lung development and lung health in childhood affects what your health is going to be as an adult. The center allows us to establish a structured way to bring people together to address childhood lung health and its long-term implications,” Young continued.

The center will conduct research where outcomes could be applied across a spectrum of diseases with a preventive focus and goal of optimizing child lung health.

“The establishment of this center reflects our commitment to expand and create infrastructure to foster collaborations between scientists and clinicians, supporting investigations ranging from understanding basic mechanisms of disease pathogenesis to clinical studies to improve patient outcomes,” said Paul Moore, MD, director of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine and vice chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics.

“The Center will also further our mission as a leader in the training and career development of young investigators focused on pulmonary research.”

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