At Vanderbilt there is a broad range of multi-disciplinary highly collaborative NIH-funded research programs in clinical, translational and basic science research in asthma and allergic diseases. The research programs fall into ten major focus areas covering respiratory epidemiology to basic eicosanoid biology. The home of the clinical translational programs and faculty are within the Center for Asthma Research (


Allergic Diseases, Asthma and Respiratory Epidemiology

Programs in allergic diseases, asthma and respiratory epidemiology focus on risk factor identification, and translational studies to elucidate novel biologic pathways.


Aspirin-exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD)

Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease is a subtype of adult- onset asthma associated with recurrent nasal polyposis and hypersensitivity reactions to aspirin and other cyclooxygenase-1 inhibitors (NSAIDs). This research program is actively working to understand the mechanism that contribute to the severe respiratory tract inflammation and identify the best treatment options for patients with AERD.

Eicosanoids and Mediators in Airway Inflammation

Eicosanoids encompass a group of pro- and anti-inflammatory lipid mediators in the respiratory tract integral to the development of airway inflammation. This team has over 20 years of experience investigating how these mediators contribute to the acute and chronic airway inflammation in asthma, the respiratory viral infection response and the mechanisms of AERD.


Metabolomics studies focus on using targeted and untargeted metabolomics in early life to elucidate the upstream pathways of asthma and allergic disease phenotypes.

Methodological Considerations in Asthma Causal Inference

As making valid causal inferences is challenging, these studies apply innovative methods and study designs to assess risk factor relationship with asthma and allergic disease outcomes.

Microbiome and asthma and allergic diseases

Human and laboratory studies focus on the role of the early life microbiome in acute respiratory morbidity and the development of chronic respiratory diseases, including asthma.



Obesity, Glucose Metabolism and Asthma

Asthma associated with comorbid obesity  impacts >60% of patients with severe asthma and results in increased symptoms , poorer disease control and response to standard therapies, and greater risk for asthma exacerbations and asthma-related hospitalizations. This research team is identifying how excess fat mass alters the immune function in the airway and testing the clinical and mechanistic efficacy of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, medications approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity, in obesity-related asthma.

Respiratory Viral Infections and Their Role in Asthma and Allergic Diseases

Human clinical, translational and basic science studies of early life respiratory viral infections aim to decipher the role and mechanisms through which respiratory viruses contribute to acute and chronic respiratory diseases.


Sex differences in Asthma and Atopic Diseases

Special Populations: Cystic Fibrosis and Down Syndrome