Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes emphysema, is among the most prevalent diseases in the world as well as in the United States. In fact, it is the fourth most common cause of death worldwide. We still don't have a very good understanding of the causes of COPD. We know that cigarette smoking is very important but one of the little known facts is that most people who smoke heavily do not get COPD emphysema. We've identified some candidate molecules that we think may play an important role in defending the lung against COPD and which seem to be deficient in the lungs of people who do get COPD. In this particular project what we're tying to do is see if those candidate molecules, which are all proteins, can be detected in the blood and if they prove to be biomarkers for susceptibility of COPD and predictors of its severity. Dr. Salim Merali � We're looking at the protein content which is using the proteomics technology. And that allows us to, to look in detail the levels of the proteins in the blood, specifically in the plasma of people with COPD and then we compare those levels of protein to individuals who don't have COPD. The grant money has allowed us to obtain the necessary equipment as well as supplies to get started with this major project. Dr. Steven Kelsen � We've had to hire several new people to help us do the work and I think it's fair to say without the funding, we could not have done this project.
Salim Merali, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biochemistry; Director of the Proteomics Core, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ancillary Study: Identification of Plasma Biomarkers in COPD Administered by the NHLBI Division of Lung Diseases, Airway Biology and Disease Branch FY 2009 Recovery Act Funding: $784,389