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EPA Awards Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute $500,000 for Air Quality Research
Date:3/4/2009

Focus on air pollutant components as possible link to cardiovascular disease

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $500,000 to the Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute, a subsidiary of Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, LRRI. The award is to develop environmental health indicators, or "biomarkers" of cardiovascular disease caused by air pollution. Exposures to particulate matter, ozone, and diesel exhaust have been identified as a possible cause for cardiovascular disease in humans, but there is limited information on which cardiovascular biomarkers are most altered by pollutant exposures. Better information can enhance an understanding of how air pollution causes vascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, as well as point towards who in the community may be most vulnerable. It would allow researchers to better pinpoint which sources of pollution have the greatest impact on health.

The Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute will conduct research to develop novel and more specific markers for acute exposure to humans. The Institute's research team will be headed by Matthew Campen, Ph.D., one of the more than 100 scientists working on respiratory disease research at LRRI. Dr. Campen says, "We have known for a long time that air pollution contributes to respiratory disease. This generous grant from the EPA endorses our work and will advance our understanding of the relationship between air pollution and one of the major killers in America, cardiovascular disease."

Project activities involved in this research will include identifying susceptible individuals, classifying causal components of the complex air pollution mixture, and developing a better understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in air pollution-induced cardiovascular toxicity. As a result of data collected from this study, LRRI hopes to identify individuals who could be at risk of developing atherosclerosis, a chronic arterial inflammatory disease which may lead to heart attacks or stroke.

About Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute

The Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) is a private, biomedical research organization dedicated to improving public health through research on the prevention, treatment and cure of respiratory disease. Since 1947, LRRI is committed to curing respiratory diseases through research aimed at understanding their causes and biological mechanisms; assessing and eliminating exposures to respiratory health hazards; and developing improved therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics. LRRI is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, employees 100 Ph.D. - level scientists and is a $70 million company.

    Contact:    Sandy McKay, LRRI, smckay@LRRI.org-505-348-9486
                Kyla Thompson, PR, kyla@kylathompson.com-505-341-0699


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SOURCE Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
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