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Pioneering a new path to treat asthma

“...the most exciting discovery that I’ve been involved with.”

Robert Tarran, PhD. Associate Professor. Department of Cell Biology and Physiology. UNC School of Medicine

“...the most exciting discovery that I’ve been involved with.”

Associate professor of medicine Robert Tarran is a leader in cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease research. After identifying a specific protein in that work, Tarran’s colleague Steve Tilley, an associate professor of medicine, wondered what role it might play in his own research.

The result of that curiosity is what Tilley called “…the most exciting discovery that I’ve been involved with” and a potential for new, more effective treatments for the more than 334 million worldwide who suffer from asthma.

“The cost of asthma to the healthcare system in the U.S. is quite big,” Tarran said. “Most of the asthma therapies people use are inhalers, which have been around for decades. This protein could be a potentially new target to go after, and it could really benefit a lot of people.”

Read the complete Carolina Story from UNC Health Care…Opens in new window

The study was funded by the American Asthma Association and the National Institutes of Health.


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