Vitamin D Mechanism in Corticosteroid-Resistant Asthma Discovered
Corticosteroids are the most widely used and effective controller medication for asthma. However, up to 40 percent of asthma patients do not respond to these medications, creating a major problem in asthma therapy. Researchers at National Jewish Health reported in the January 2016 Nature Communications that Vitamin D inhibits the development of steroid resistance in cell cultures and a mouse model of asthma by preventing the conversion of an immune system cell to a pathogenic type associated with resistance to corticosteroids. The findings could help explain why clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation have shown no consistent benefit for asthmatics; vitamin D appears to affect only a specific subset of immune cells.
Asthma Add-on Therapies Compared for Black Adults
Long-acting beta agonists are no better than tiotropium at preventing asthma exacerbations in black patients when used as add-on therapies to inhaled corticosteroids, according to researchers at National Jewish Health and other institutions. The efficacy and safety of the long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) have been questioned, especially in black populations. Tiotropium, an anticholinergic medication, was approved in September for use in asthma. The results of the Blacks and Exacerbations on LABA vs. Tiotropium (BELT) study were published in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Mental Health Affects Ability to Quit Smoking
Researchers at National Jewish Health have found that tobacco quitline participants who identified as having mental health conditions and/or recent emotional challenges are significantly less likely to successfully quit smoking than those without mental health conditions. Additionally, those who believed their mental health condition would negatively affect their quit attempt were significantly less likely to succeed than those who felt it wouldn’t be an issue. The study, done in collaboration with researchers at the University of Colorado, was published in the August 8, 2015 issue of the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
Jennifer Hill, MD
Harold S. Nelson, MD, Endowed Allergy Fellowship
As a child, Jennifer Hill, MD, frequently sat on the sidelines because of her asthma. Today, she is a fellow at National Jewish Health and pursuing a career in immunology to help people who are held back by severe asthma and allergies receive the care they need. Dr. Hill is the first person to hold the Harold S. Nelson, MD, Endowed Allergy Fellowship, which was funded by many former National Jewish Health fellows.
National Jewish Health News
Honoring Dr. Hal Nelson
Several current and former fellows, along with National Jewish Health President and CEO Michael Salem, MD, Professor of Medicine Rohit K. Katial, MD, and National Trustee Mark Holbreich, MD, gathered last fall for a dinner in Denver to honor Harold S. Nelson, MD, for his contributions to the field of allergy. Greg Lund, Strategic Partner at TEVA Pharmaceuticals, which helped fund the Harold S. Nelson, MD, Endowed Allergy Fellowship, also attended. People also had the opportunity to meet Jennifer Hill, MD, the first Hal Nelson fellow. National Jewish Health is still accepting support for the Hal Nelson Endowed Allergy Fellowship. If you are interested in donating, please contact Rebecca Cover at 303.728.6577 or CoverR@njhealth.org.
National Jewish Health Faculty and Fellows Reception – 2016 AAAAI Annual Meeting
Thank you to everyone who attended the National Jewish Health Faculty and Fellows Reception at the 2016 AAAAI Annual Meeting on March 6 in Los Angeles. About 70 people joined us to connect with former and current colleagues. Speakers included National Jewish Health Professor of Medicine Rohit K. Katial, MD, and National Trustee Mark Holbreich, MD (pictured speaking).
2016 Morgridge Fellows Dinner - Celebrating the Next Generation of Leaders
National Jewish Health held its third annual Morgridge Fellows Dinner on June 21, 2016, at Shanahan's in Denver. The event is an opportunity to recognize the fellows and faculty, as well as the transformational gift from the Morgridge Family Foundation to create the Morgridge Educational Campus at National Jewish Health. The campus includes the Morgridge Fellows and Morgridge Academy for chronically ill children. Several fellows from various areas in the hospital spoke about their experiences at National Jewish Health and their plans for the future. Carrie Morgridge, vice president of the Morgridge Family Foundation; Marc Steron, managing partner of Shanahan’s and a member of the National Jewish Health Board of Directors; and Michael Salem, MD, National Jewish Health President and CEO, also spoke.
"From an individual child at Morgridge Academy to the people who will benefit from our fellows' research and care, countless people are recipients of the Morgridge Family Foundation's tremendous support of National Jewish Health," Steron said.
National Jewish Health recently released "National Jewish Health Pulmonary Highlights 2015.” The publication outlines the state of pulmonary medicine and research at National Jewish Health – our expertise, our research and the training we provide to health care professionals. We are pleased to have this added opportunity to highlight our expertise and share our story with colleagues across the nation.
Do you have a question or an idea for a topic in the next e-newsletter? Or do you have a comment regarding this issue of the Alumni News? Please email us at CoverR@njhealth.org.
Alumni News is published for the Former Fellows of National Jewish Health.