Anne Fitzpatrick awarded Emory URC/Georgia CTSA grant

Anne Fitzpatrick, PhD, APRN, CPNP and team recently were awarded an Emory University Research Council (URC) and Georgia CTSA Pilot Grant. Learn more about the grant and all winners here. Dr. Fitzpatrick shared the following about this exciting new project:

"Whereas eosinophils are the hallmark Type-2 inflammatory cell and the target of a number of emerging biologic therapies for severe asthma, neutrophils are much less understood and have been largely ignored by the asthma field. This is an enormous oversight since up to 30% of children with severe asthma may have neutrophil-predominant (versus eosinophil-predominant) patterns of airway inflammation. Moreover, whereas corticosteroids are the cornerstone of asthma therapy, neutrophils are relatively insensitive to the effects of corticosteroids.

Our exciting preliminary data upon which this application is built suggest that neutrophils are uniquely altered in a subpopulation of children with neutrophil-predominant severe asthma, a finding which may have pathological consequences and may warrant different treatment approaches. Given that there are no existing studies of neutrophil functional biology in this unique population of children at high risk for poor outcomes, this study will test the overarching hypothesis that children with neutrophil-predominant severe asthma have a pro-inflammatory neutrophil phenotype associated with disrupted innate immune defenses. Dr. Fitzpatrick’s research team will also attempt to detect airway inflammation in these patients with systemic biomarkers."