Newswise — (Feb. 26, 2020) -- The ATS Foundation Research Program and the American Lung Association have awarded Donald Sullivan, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University a $100,000 Foundation Partner grant. The ATS Foundation Partner Grants provide crucial support to talented investigators from around the world, launching careers dedicated to scientific discovery and better patient care.

For Dr. Sullivan, the grant will help support his research project, “Improving Decision Making in Lung Cancer: A Low-Literacy Conversation Tool.”

Dr. Sullivan wrote in his application summary that his proposal will “answer important knowledge gaps regarding how to improve treatment decision-making processes and communication, ultimately enhancing patient health and improving the quality of patient-centered care.” He added, “The clinical practice ramifications of this study are expected to extend beyond lung cancer as our methodology may be applied to the development of decision support tools for patients with other cancer types or serious illnesses facing complex treatment-related medical decisions.”

“There have been significant advances in the area of lung cancer research regarding early detection, methods of diagnosis and certainly in the area of treatment,” said American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer Albert Rizzo, MD “The development of tools like Dr. Sullivan’s helps keep the patient in the shared-decision process in a more meaningful way when many treatment options need to be considered.  The American Lung Association recognizes that nothing is more personal than health and is proud to help support this patient-centered research.”

“Lung cancer screening programs save lives but continued algorithmic improvement can increase benefits and avoid valueless procedures and potential complications,” said Dean Schraufnagel, MD, chair of the ATS Foundation and professor of medicine at the University of Illinois Chicago. “This grant elevates the career of a young investigator while it lowers the scourge of lung cancer.”

The application process for the next cycle of grant opportunities will open in Spring of 2020. Visit the ATS Foundation website to learn more.


About the ATS Foundation

Since its inception, the ATS Foundation Research Program has awarded $19.3 million to 263 investigators, both in the U.S. and internationally. These researchers have gone on to receive $330 million in federal funding. That’s a return on investment of $17 per dollar awarded. You can learn more about our most recent awardees here.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:


About the American Thoracic Society Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world's leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The Society’s more than 16,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease around the globe through research, education, patient care and advocacy. The ATS publishes three journals, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. The ATS will hold its 2020 International Conference, May 15-20, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where world-renowned experts will share the latest scientific research and clinical advances in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.