Dr. Monica Kraft, Renowned Asthma Researcher, Named to Prestigious NIH Advisory Council

By:
College of Medicine,

Monica Kraft, MD, professor and chair of the University of Arizona Department of Medicine, the Robert and Irene Flinn Endowed Chair of Medicine, and deputy director of the UA Health Sciences Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center, has been named to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council.

“It is an honor to be chosen for such an important and prestigious position,” Dr. Kraft said. “I am indebted to the NIH for supporting me all these years, so I’m happy to give back any way I can.”

The council advises the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), DHHS assistant secretary for health, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) on matters related to the cause, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung and blood diseases; the use of blood and blood products and management of blood resources; and sleep disorders.

The council considers applications for research and research training grants and cooperative agreements and recommends funding for those applications that show promise of valuable contribution to human knowledge. It also may make recommendations to the NHLBI director about research conducted at the institute. The council meets four times a year. Minutes of the most recent meetings are available online to read or download.

Dr. Kraft, whose term runs through Oct. 31, 2021, isn’t the only UA Wildcat on the NHLB Advisory Council. UA President Robert Robbins, MD, is a member and Fernando Martinez, MD, director of the UA Health Sciences Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center, just completed his term of service. The council will meet via teleconference for grant reviews later this month, then in person in September and October in the nation’s capital.

Dr. Kraft, a renowned physician-scientist who first received NIH research funding in 1995, focuses her work on precision medicine therapies to treat severe asthma. As a principal investigator, she  is in the third year of a five-year, $7.02 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH to study “Dysfunction of Innate Immunity in Asthma” (NIAID/NIH award U19AI125357) and the first year of a six-year, $2.42 million grant from the NHLBI with UA co-principal investigator Eugene Bleecker, MD, for participation in the PrecISE Network, a national research study focused on “Precision Interventions for Severe and/or Exacerbation Prone Asthma” (NHLBI/NIH award UG1HL139054).

The PrecISE study, which is expected to divide as much as $100 million in additional project funding later this year, aims to identify more effective treatments for severe asthma, which affects nearly 10 percent of people worldwide and remains poorly controlled for many patients. The study is an innovative clinical trial that will support a personalized medicine approach to identifying therapies tailored to an individual’s disease and treatment history.

Dr. Kraft joined the UA College of Medicine – Tucson faculty in 2014, coming from Duke University in Durham, N.C., where she served as chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care and founding director of the Duke Asthma, Allergy and Airway Center. Before that, she was director of the Carl and Hazel Felt Laboratory in Adult Asthma Research and medical director of the pulmonology physiology unit at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver. Among her many honors, she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, awarded at the White House in 2000, and served as president of the American Thoracic Society in 2012-13. She also has written more than 175 publications in the areas of adult asthma, the role of infection in asthma and the role of the distal lung in asthma and airway remodeling.

For more about Dr. Kraft’s grants, research and research partners at the UA, please visit: http://deptmedicine.arizona.edu/news/2018/renowned-asthma-researcher-dr-monica-kraft-picked-prestigious-nih-advisory-post