The numbers are scary. Lung disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. Yet, it receives hundreds of millions of dollars less in research funding compared to other leading causes of death – leaving potential innovations in treatment and prevention unexplored.
Respiratory Health Association (RHA) is working to change that. Each year, we award research grants to support innovative early-career researchers as they struggle to find funding. These awards are designed for new projects in the areas of lung cancer, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and other respiratory diseases.
One of our earliest awardees, Dr. Navdeep Chandel, thanks RHA for opening the door to continue his research in lung cancer.
Dr. Chandel came to us in 2008 with an unconventional idea – inhibiting antioxidants in cancer cells to limit cancer cell growth. Cancer cells take waste molecules from healthy cells and, using antioxidants, turn it to food. By inhibiting antioxidants in cancer cells, he proposed that the cells would be unable to turn the waste to food and therefore stop growing.
As he wrote in his report to RHA, “This study will change our thinking about cancer cell metabolism and opens up therapeutic targeting.” In the years since, this is exactly what has happened.
Dr. Chandel recently received the National Cancer Institute’s Outstanding Investigator Award to continue the research he began in 2008 with RHA. This grant supports investigators who have made significant contributions in cancer research and are pursuing areas with unusual potential to move the field forward.