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2020 Press Releases

HomeAboutNewsroomPress ReleasesPress Releases from the ATS2020 Press Releases ▶ Dr. Nicholas Arger Receives ATS Foundation Research Program/Foundation for Sarcoidosis Partner Grant
Dr. Nicholas Arger Receives ATS Foundation Research Program/Foundation for Sarcoidosis Partner Grant

(Jan. 9, 2020) -- The ATS Foundation Research Program/Foundation for Sarcoidosis has awarded Nicholas Arger, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco a $80,000 Foundation Partner grant. The ATS Foundation Partner Grant provides crucial support to talented investigators from around the world, launching careers dedicated to scientific discovery and better patient care.

For Dr. Arger, the grant will help support his research project, “Single Cell RNA sequencing of high T-bet-expressing T cells to determine their role in sarcoidosis.”

“The goal of this project is to gain a better understanding of a population of immune cells that potentially contribute to on-going inflammation in the disease,” wrote Dr. Arger in his application summary. “I have identified a population of immune cells that have a high amount of a specific protein, T-bet, that controls several genes associated with the type of inflammation seen in sarcoidosis. I found the cells almost exclusively in patients who had declines in their pulmonary function over time as compared to patients who have had stable lung function and have not required treatment.”

He added, “My focus in this grant is to determine the biologic function of these cells and determine if they represent an expanded T cell population using single cell genomic sequencing techniques. These findings will help the scientific community understand potential mechanisms that drive the inflammatory response in this disease and also help distinguish patients who have progressive disease from those who do not.”

“FSR’s goal is to support dedicated investigators who aim to better understand how this challenging disease works,” said Noopur Singh, director of Research Programs, Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research. “Projects like Dr. Arger’s cultivate necessary data for the scientific community to gain insight into sarcoidosis. We are pleased to see young investigators that are dedicated to increasing the understanding of this disease and creating an impact not only for future research, but for sarcoidosis patients.”

 “Sarcoidosis, a disease that can have devastating consequences, has been a mystery since it was discovered over a hundred years ago,” said Dean Schraufnagel, MD, chair of the ATS Foundation. “Part of the problem was that there were relatively few scientists committed to its research. ATS grants support young investigators, such as Dr. Arger, to lead them toward a career that will help unravel the puzzles of sarcoid.”