Current Research Projects in Lung Health

Air Purification for Eosinophilic COPD Study (APECS)

PI: Dr. Mary Rice
Co-Investigators & Trainees: Lina Nurhussien, Anna Stanley-Lee, Dr. Maura Alvarez Baumgartner, Dr. Amro Aglan, Dr. Andrew Synn

The main goal of this study is to determine if placement of high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers in the home improves lung function, respiratory symptoms, and airway inflammation in former smokers with eosinophilic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Study of Pollution and COPD Exacerbation (SPACE)

PI: Dr. Mary Rice
Co-Investigators & Trainees: Lina Nurhussien, Anna Stanley-Lee, Dr. Amro Aglan, Dr. Charlotte Scheerens, Dr. Andrew Synn

This study uses novel portable monitors to measure personal air pollution and temperature exposure and daily activity and lung function. Our goal is to assess if personal and community-level air pollution exposure in the Boston area affects lung function, respiratory symptoms, sleep and activity level among patients living with COPD.

Imaging Biomarkers of Pulmonary Vascular Disease, Framingham Heart Study & BIDMC Cohorts

PI: Dr. Andrew Synn
Co-Investigators & Trainees: Dr. Sunny Jeong , Dr. Mary Rice

In collaboration with our colleagues in the Applied Chest Imaging Laboratory at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, we are examining CT-based measures of pulmonary vascular structure as a non-invasive indicator of pulmonary vascular disease. This project uses data from the Framingham Heart Study and cohorts at BIDMC to investigate whether abnormalities in the pulmonary vessels on CT may predict risk of lung and cardiovascular disease.

Risk Factors for Respiratory and Allergic Disease, Project Viva

PI: Dr. Mary Rice
Co-Investigators & Trainees: Dr. Bess Flashner, Dr. Stephen Mein, Lina Nurhussien

Project Viva is a longitudinal study of study of children who have been followed from pre-birth through the teenage years. Through a series of research projects in collaboration with Project Viva investigators, we are examining how early life exposures including pollution, diet and exercise affect risk of asthma and allergic disease in childhood and adolescence.

Serum Auto-antibodies and Interstitial Lung Disease Phenotypes

PI: Dr. Robert Hallowell (MGH / BIDMC collaborating researcher) / Dr. Mary Rice
Co-Investigators & Trainees: Dr. Kavitha Selvan, Dr. Bess Flashner, Lina Nurhussien, Dr. Ritu Gill

This clinical research project investigates the relationship of serum auto-antibodies with acute and chronic presentations of interstitial lung disease (ILD) and ILD-associated pulmonary vascular disease.

Sampling the Nasal Epithelial Lining Fluid as a Non-Invasive Indicator of Metal and Microbial Exposures and Immune Response in People with COPD

PI: Dr. Mary Rice
Co-Investigators & Trainees: Dr. Maura Alvarez Baumgartner, Lina Nurhussien, Anna Stanley-Lee, Dr. Andrew Synn

This pilot research involves novel nasal sampling techniques developed by collaborators at UNC (Jaspers, Rebuli) to assess if inhaled air pollution exposures are linked to differences in mediators of inflammation, the nasal microbiome or the concentration of metals and elements in the upper respiratory tract among patients with COPD.

Indicators of Pulmonary Vasodilator Therapy Response

PI: Dr. Cyrus Kholdani

This clinical research project will evaluate the use of provocative testing in the catheterization laboratory to predict pulmonary vasodilator therapy response in patients with pulmonary hypertension.

American Lung Association (ALA) Lung Health Cohort

BIDMC Sub PI: Dr. Mary Rice
BIDMC Co-Investigators & Trainees: Dr. Murray Mittleman, Dr. Andrew Synn
Cohort Study PI's: Drs. Ravi Kalhan (NWU), George Washko (BWH), Mercedes Carnethon (NWU), Elizabeth Sugar (JHU)

The ALA Lung Health Cohort is the first national cohort of young adults focused on respiratory health, and seeks to develop targets to intercept chronic lung disease at its earliest stages. The multi-center cohort study is recruiting 4,000 generally healthy young adults aged 25-35 recruited at ALA Airway Clinical Research Centers. For this large project funded by NHLBI, we will apply geospatial analyses and exposure models to examine associations of long-term residential, educational and occupational environmental exposures and respiratory health.