CHHS Professor Receives Cahill Research Grant to Investigate Product that may Help People with Lung Obstruction

Jennifer McCall, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing’s Clinical Research Program, received a Cahill Research Grant.

Jennifer received the Cahill Research Grant for her research titled “Assessment of the Anti-Inflammatory Drug Potential of the Marine Natural Product Brevenal.”

Brevenal is a marine natural product that has been shown to increase lung clearance in animal models, which is really important for treatment of obstructive pulmonary diseases such as COPD, Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis.

Preliminary research has shown that Brevenal also has anti-inflammatory potential that is not seen with traditional lung clearance pharmaceuticals. Specifically, most lung treatments are able to either increase clearance of the lungs or serve as an anti-inflammatory, but not both.

Patients with COPD have difficulty clearing their lungs of foreign bodies, like dust and bacteria, which can lead to inflammation. Physicians need to be able to treat patients so they can clear the lungs, but they also have to be cautious when treating lung inflammation. Inflammation can lead to damage of the delicate structures in the lungs.

Jennifer and her graduate student are interested in looking for potential mechanisms of action for Brevenal (clearing the lungs and mediating inflammation). Publishing data to support these mechanisms of action will help facilitate getting Brevenal through clinical trials for use as a treatment for people with lung obstruction.

The Charles L. Cahill Awards are granted to full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty to:

  • Provide seed money for the initiation of projects that subsequently may attract funding from other sources
  • Encourage the pursuit of new areas of research, scholarship or artistic endeavors
  • Fund travel in support of research
  • Encourage the development of specific professional skills within one’s discipline.