University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California

The University of California San Diego, or UCSD as it's commonly known, is a major institution interested in research into a number of biomedical conditions, including asthma. We have several leading investigators in this area.

One, Dr. David Brody, is devoting his attention to animal models of asthma to understand how asthma can be prevented and in fact, once started can be turned off. And he's been using some novel DNA constructs to turn off the immune response that is generated asthma and allergy. Dr. Bruce Zura is very active in looking at proteins which regulate how glucocorticoid medications work, trying to get a better handle on how our effective treatments in asthma can be made even more effective.

Dr. Joe Ramsdell and I are also very actively engaged in two national clinical trials networks -- one sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the another sponsored by the American Lung Association -- where we're looking at pharmacologic management in asthma using novel drugs and novel approaches. For example, looking at antacid drugs as to whether or not reflux esophageal disease may be contributing to asthma. And long-term antibiotics to generate some information as to whether or not chronic low-grade infection may be contributing to asthma in some patients.