CHILD Cohort Study researchers awarded $2M to study microbial causes of asthma

CHILD Cohort Study researchers awarded $2M to study microbial causes of asthma

A $2 million award from the Canadian Microbiome Initiative 2 (CMI2) program will allow CHILD Cohort Study researchers to examine the trillions of microorganisms living inside the human body and uncover the role they play in causing asthma.

This five-year project will be co-led by CHILD Director Dr. Padmaja Subbarao (Hospital for Sick Children) and CHILD’s Manitoba site co-leader Dr. Meghan Azad (University of Manitoba).

Funding was announced by the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health, as part of an $18-million investment from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to better understand the role of the microbiome in human health and disease.

“This CIHR award is evidence of the incredible value of CHILD as a platform for novel research,” said Dr. Subbarao.

“CHILD researchers have already published on novel associations between important risk factors and asthma development, such as traffic-related air pollution, infant feeding practices, the gut microbiome, and early-life lung function trajectories. This funding will help us further our understanding of the biological relationship between these risk factors and asthma, which in turn will lead to the development of new preventative and therapeutic interventions.”

“CHILD has shown that breastfed babies have higher levels of beneficial gut bacteria and a lower risk of developing asthma as they get older,” commented Dr. Azad.

“This research will use new technologies to find out how gut bacteria are causing or preventing asthma and the role that early-life exposures, such as breastfeeding, play in modifying those bacteria.”

Read the press release