Dr. Samir Kelada (Associate Professor, Department of Genetics) is the PI on a new R21 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) titled “Gene-Environment Interactions with Ozone and Non-atopic Asthma”.
Co-Investigators on this grant include Jeremy Simon, PhD (Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, UNC), Timothy Moran, MD, PhD (Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UNC) and Jack Harkema, DVM, PhD (Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University)
Exposure to ambient air pollutant ozone (O3) is associated with the development of asthma, in particular the non-atopic (non-allergic) sub-type. The goal of this grant is to identify gene-environment (GxE) interactions with O3 that contribute to the development of non-atopic asthma. The Kelada lab previously identified a Collaborative Cross (CC) mouse strain that exhibited high levels of eosinophilic inflammation, mucous cell metaplasia, and airway hyperresponsiveness, all hallmark phenotypes of asthma, after repeated O3 exposure. In this project, the identified CC strain will be used as a new genetic model to investigate the innate immune mechanisms and genetic loci underlying the association of O3 exposure and the development of non-atopic asthma.