WFUBMC One of Eight Centers in Country Chosen to Conduct Asthma Studies

May 11, 2004

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is one of eight centers in the country, and the only one in the South, selected to join a network that evaluates new treatments for asthma. Later this year, researchers will begin recruiting participants for a series of studies that will be performed over the next five years.

“We are trying to answer important questions about asthma, to evaluate new and existing therapies and to get the results out quickly so patients can benefit,” said Stephen P. Peters, M.D., Ph.D., research director and professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine.

The Medical Center site, which includes investigators from the Center for Human Genomics, was selected to join the Asthma Clinical Research Network (ACRN). ACRN, which was established by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, was created to conduct multiple clinical studies to rapidly evaluate novel treatment approaches to asthma. The network was established in 1993 and was recently expanded to include eight clinical sites.

Peters, the principal investigator for the Wake Forest Baptist ACRN site, said research studies are being finalized now.

“One of the studies may look at people with certain genes who have to be careful with asthma medications because certain doses can be harmful,” he said.

The ACRN selection allows the Center for Human Genomics to expand its ongoing research in asthma.

“We have asthma studies going on here all the time,” said Bob Hmieleski, clinical research manager for ACRN. “For example, we’re part of a major three-year study of 4,000 people looking at the epidemiology of asthma, treatment options, and use of the health care system. In addition, we’ve been studying the genetics of asthma for close to 12 years.”

The Center for Human Genomics was established in June 2000. Its primary purpose is to investigate genetic mechanisms in the development and progression of complex human diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, prostate cancer and pulmonary diseases such as allergies and asthma.

For more information about ongoing asthma studies, call 336-713-8550.


Media Contacts: Shannon Koontz,, or Karen Richardson,, at 336-716-4587.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. It is licensed to operate 1,282 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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