About the Respiratory Diseases Unit
The CNPRC is the only National Primate Research Center program with a scientific unit focused on pulmonary diseases. Defining the development of the respiratory system during early life, understanding the pathways by which it is regulated, and investigating the long-term health impact of environmental exposures is a major research emphasis for the Respiratory Diseases Unit. Specialized research expertise within the Respiratory Diseases Unit includes lung remodeling, pulmonary toxicology, mucosal immunology, and neurophysiology. Respiratory Diseases Unit Core and Affiliate Scientists developed the first rhesus monkey model of adult and childhood asthma using a human allergen, which has given researchers the ability to test numerous biological mechanisms and new therapies.
Research Accomplishments in the Respiratory Diseases Unit
- Used a novel rhesus monkey model of house dust mite sensitization to investigate the pathogenesis of allergic asthma in pediatric and adult asthma
- Defined the relationship between pediatric asthma, development of mucosal immunity in the respiratory system, and exposure to the house dust mite allergen
- Studied the effects of air pollutants including environmental tobacco smoke and ozone during prenatal, neonatal and postnatal lung development
- Investigated the establishment of neural networks within the respiratory system and their role in the regulation of overall pulmonary function and airways reactivity
- Developed a pediatric model of H1N1 influenza infection to study pulmonary immune susceptibility in the very young
- Tested therapeutic strategies for the treatment of inflammatory lung diseases in both pediatric and adult populations
- Developed a nonhuman primate model to study the preclinical biology of COPD pathogenesis
Respiratory Diseases Unit Resources Program
The goal of the Respiratory Diseases Unit Resources program is to make nonhuman primate biological specimens and data collected through our NIH-funded research accessible to the scientific community. Since 1999, Core and Affiliate Scientists within the Respiratory Diseases Unit have used the nonhuman primate as an animal model to address questions related to the development of allergic airways disease and exacerbation by air pollutant exposures. Resources may obtained by completion and approval of the CNPRC RDU Resources Request Form. Instructions for the RDU Resources Request Form may be found here. Priority for distribution of resources is given to federally-funded investigators.
A PDF summarizing RDU capabilities can be downloaded here.