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Research and Clinical Trials

Thanks to medical breakthroughs driven by research, people with lung disease now have more treatment options than ever before.

But there is still work to be done. That’s why, when they’re not busy caring for patients, providers in our Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine focus on research. By conducting scientific studies and leading clinical trials, we aim to find better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent many common and complex pulmonary conditions.

Our Pulmonary Research Achievements

By applying what we’ve learned through research, our team continuously finds ways to make pulmonary care safer and more effective. Some of our recent and ongoing projects include:

  • Investigating why certain people develop certain lung diseases. We’re working to better understand the causes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), adult cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, pulmonary hypertension, sarcoidosis and pulmonary fibrosis. Our efforts may pave the way for improved screening or prevention strategies.
  • Testing new medicines for severe asthma and pulmonary hypertension.
  • Assessing the use of Vitamin C infusions as a treatment for people with COVID-19 and lung disease.
  • Studying the best ways to treat people with lung injury, sepsis and organ failure.
  • Learning how to predict health outcomes among people with pulmonary hypertension based on their “social determinants of health.” These factors include your income and education levels and whether you have access to adequate housing, food and transportation.

We’re also using long-term outcomes data gathered from more than 2,000 VCU Health patients with sarcoidosis to create new diagnosis and treatment guidelines. These guidelines may eventually serve as a best practice for providers across the country who care for people with sarcoidosis.

Our Commitment to Research is a Commitment to the Community

Some of our pulmonologists are also leaders within the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research.

As the first federally funded research center of its kind in Virginia, the Wright Center is part of a national network of research institutions. Members of this network work together to transform scientific discoveries into tangible treatments that help people.

The Wright Center also supports researchers across VCU Health. This means our team has access to resources that make it easier to get pulmonary research projects up and running. Through these research projects, we gain important new insights that translate to better care for people throughout central Virginia.

Enroll in a Lung Disease Clinical Trial

Our pulmonologists routinely lead clinical trials to test new treatments. These include promising new medicines for COPD, pulmonary hypertension, severe asthma and more.

If you’re interested in taking part in a clinical trial, talk to your provider about your options. You can also use our Study Finder tool to see which clinical trials are recruiting new participants.