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Inflammatory lung disease research to be furthered with $1.25M endowment


Calgary, AB – Dr Richard Leigh, the University of Calgarys Faculty of Medicine assistant professor in respiratory medicine, has been named to the universitys newly endowed GSK-CIHR professorship in inflammatory lung disease.

The appointment was made possible by a $1.25 million contribution from GlaxoSmithKline, $500,000 from Alberta Innovation & Science, and $230,000 from Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The professorship means a great deal for furthering excellence in research and education into chronic lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), says Dr Grant Gall, dean, Faculty of Medicine.

A large part of Dr Leighs research looks at the possible contributors to airway remodeling, or the structural airway changes characteristic of inflammatory lung diseases. This has led to his examination of why remodeling occurs in elite athletes with no asthma; how the human rhinovirus (common cold) infects airway lining cells; and why most patients develop asthma before the age of six, and already show signs of airway remodeling, even at that young age.