• Research Interest

    The Khurana Hershey Lab is committed to developing new prevention and treatment strategies for allergic diseases that target high-risk populations at the critical time periods.  The current research interests of the Khurana Hershey Laboratory are:

    • Elucidation of epithelial genes and pathways critical to allergic disease
    • Gene: environment interactions in asthma and allergic diseases
    • Genomics of treatment response in childhood asthma
    • Identification of biologic markers of allergic diseases phenotypes
  • Current Research Projects and Grants

    Show All


    Greater Cincinnati Pediatric Clinic Repository
    Butsch Kovacic et al.  2012, Ped. All. Imm, Pulm

    Genetic- U19 Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Center (AADCRC). This project is focused on delineating the role of epithelial genes in allergic inflammation. The central focus is to elucidate the mechanisms by which epithelial cells contribute to the pathogenesis of allergic disorders. Using the Greater Cincinnati Pediatric Clinic Repository (GCPCR) cohort, we have identified several epithelial genes with previously unrecognized roles in asthma. Further analyses of these genes suggest that some of these genes are specific to one epithelial surface and are associated with one allergic disease, while others are common to multiple epithelial surfaces and allergic disorders.

    Read More.


    Diesel exposure in lung

    Environmental- Diesel Particles (DEP). An increasing body of evidence implicates exposure of traffic-related air pollution (DEP is the major component of traffic related particulate matter) as playing a significant role in the development of asthma and expression of asthma symptoms. Our findings in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS) longitudinal birth cohort demonstrate that DEP exposure during infancy conferred risk for wheezing in a dose-dependent fashion. We have recently found that DEP contributes to asthma severity by increasing IL-17A levels and neutralization of IL-17A can effectively counteract the effects of DEP. The goals if this project is to further dissect these relationships.

    Read More.


    Environmental- Mold Exposure-Induced Asthma. Numerous studies have implicated mold exposure in the development and prevalence of asthma, as well as with asthma symptoms and exacerbations. These studies underscore the importance of mold exposure as a public health concern and relevance of mold exposure to asthma. We have recently developed a model of mold exposure-induced asthma using A. versicolor or C. cladosporioides mold spores. The goal of this project is to identify the key molds and determine the mechanistic bases for the differential mold effects so that effective interventions can be designed.

    Read More.


    Reprinted from J Allergy Clin Immunol, Nov 1, 2013, Wood RA, Togias A, Wildfire J, Visness CM, Matsui EC, Gruchalla R, Hershey G, Liu AH, O'Connor GT, Pongracic JA, Zoratti E, Little F, Granada M, Kennedy S, Durham SR, Shamji MH, Busse WW, Development of Cockroach immunotherapy by the Inner-City Consortium.,p.5 , Copyright © 2013, with permission from Elsevier

    Inner City Asthma Consortium (ICAC). ICAC is the third in a series of inner-city asthma initiatives funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). ICAC is a nationwide clinical trials network to evaluate promising new therapies to reduce asthma severity and prevent disease. The primary goal of ICAC is to reduce the burden of asthma in children and adolescents living in the inner city. The central goal is to understand the factors that promote asthma in an inner city environment, delineate inner city asthma phenotypes, and determine the most optimal treatments for disproportionately affected population.

    Read More.


    Created by Mark Lindsey- Application Specialist 

    Asthma Phenotype- Ohio Pediatric Asthma Repository (OPAR). OPAR is a valuable network of children’s hospitals across the state of Ohio and is a unique and flexible study that can rapidly implement study changes across multiple sites. OPAR analyzes data to identify distinct asthma phenotypes, compare the utilization practices of the different asthma phenotypes at each hospital, and determine how and why these phenotypes differ in their health outcomes. The goal is of this project is to conduct a comparative effectiveness study that can be used to design management strategies and interventions that can be targeted to specific asthma phenotypes.

    Learn More.


    Reprinted from J Allergy Clin Immunol, February 2005, Guajardo J, Schleifer K, Daines M, Ruddy R, Aronow B, Wills-Karp M, Khurana Hershey G, Altered gene expression profiles in nasal respiratory epithelium reflect stable versus childhood asthma, pg. 243-251, Copyright © 2005, with permission from Elsevier.

    Treatment Response- This project stems from our observations including (a) there are distinct and consistent gene expression profile signatures present in nasal epithelial RNA samples from children experiencing an asthma exacerbation at the time they present in the emergency department; (b) the observed heterogeneity in the clinical response to standard treatment among individual children hospitalized with asthma is reflected by differential gene expression patterns at 24 hours after treatment; (c) our recent findings that eight differentially expressed genes can distinguish asthmatic children who respond poorly to standard treatment for hospitalized asthma exacerbation compared to children who respond well;  and (d) the pattern of expression of these genes is consistent in the same individual longitudinally across exacerbations. The goal of this project is to test whether temporal gene expression patterns in individual patients hospitalized for asthma exacerbation will predict clinical response to treatment, and whether this pattern will be consistent and evident in repeat exacerbations among asthmatics.

    Read More.
  • Asthma Statistics

    Asthma statistics.

    Statistics are based on annual reports and are for the United States unless otherwise noted.

    Over 10 Million

    U.S. children under the age of 18 have ever been diagnosed with asthma


    U.S. children still currently have asthma

    * Source: Health Statistics for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey 2011

    Ohio Statewide Asthma Plan :
    Stated Goal - "Facilitate research on asthma in Ohio. Research translated to the clinic is critical to expand current knowledge and improve asthma health."

  • United States map of asthma prevalence.

    Asthma Prevalence, Ages 1-17 years, 2001-2005.

    Click to enlarge.