Newswise — (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.” 


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 Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research

The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for this disease and to improving care for sarcoidosis patients. Since its establishment in 2000, FSR has fostered over $4 million in sarcoidosis-specific research efforts and has worked diligently to provide resources to thousands. The Foundation provides resources and support for over 40,000 sarcoidosis patients, and directly funds research initiatives critical to breakthroughs.


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.