Asthma Research

Significant Accomplishments

Ohio Pediatric Asthma Repository Begins Studying Hospital Stays

In 2012, Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD and the Division of Asthma Research, working in conjunction with Governor Kasich’s office, were awarded a grant from the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association (OCHA) and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) to develop and lead an asthma research study in conjunction with the five other free-standing children’s hospitals in Ohio. Utilizing a new central IRB infrastructure available to research institutions in Ohio, the Ohio Pediatric Asthma Repository (OPAR) began enrollment in December 2012 and now has 905 participants. The six-hospital group will analyze phenotypic, demographic, treatment, and outcome data to look for differences between patients, treatments and site pathways to see what factors impact reutilization and length of hospital stay.

Cincinnati Children’s Joins Three Clinical Trials Through Inner City Asthma Consortium

Cincinnati Children’s is one of 10 research centers to join the Inner City Asthma Consortium, the nation’s largest effort to study asthma in the inner city. Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator for the Cincinnati site. Thus far, Cincinnati Children's has been involved in three clinical trial studies:

  • Preventative Omalizumab or Step-up Therapy for Severe Fall Exacerbations, which examines whether the drug therapy decreases autumn-season asthma exacerbations.
  • Asthma Phenotypes in the Inner City, which seeks to differentiate easy vs. difficult-to-treat asthma.
  • Biomarker-Based Cockroach Sublingual Immunotherapy, which evaluates immunotherapy against exposure to German cockroach, the most common species infesting apartments and other urban buildings.

Cooperative Research Center Studies Epithelial Cell Genes in Allergic Response

Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator of an NIH-funded Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Center (AADCRC) and serves on the AADCRC steering committee. This Center focuses on characterizing epithelial genes in allergic diseases and delineating the mechanisms by which they contribute to allergic response. The overarching hypothesis is that epithelial cell genes play a central role in the pathogenesis of allergic disorders. The Center provides important insights about genes and pathways that may be important in epithelial-driven allergic inflammation and provides a basis for the design of new therapies aimed at epithelial surfaces, such as the lung in asthma cases, the skin in atopic dermatitis, or the gut in food allergy or eosinophilic esophagitis.