Cystic fibrosis study nets NIH funding

A $3.63 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health was awarded to a multidisciplinary team of cystic fibrosis (CF) researchers led by University of Iowa pulmonologists David Stoltz, MD, PhD (03R, 04R, 07F), and Joseph Zabner, MD (95F).

CF results in airway infection and inflammation, beginning during infancy and leading to respiratory failure. Mutations in the CFTR gene cause CF and damage airway defenses by reducing airway surface liquid (ASL) antimicrobial activity and causing abnormal mucociliary transport.

Both host defense problems are linked to abnormally acidic ASL. The UI team will test aerosolized tromethamine, an alkalinizing agent, to increase ASL pH in humans and pigs with CF. Positive outcomes could influence treatments or preventions for CF.