Leading Respiratory Hospital in the Nation

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation and the only health care organization to be fully focused on respiratory related illnesses. National Jewish Health has been recognized for this expertise through a variety of outside measurements and tangible achievements, including those listed below.

Institutional Achievements

  • National Jewish Health has the largest pulmonary division in the nation and is the only hospital whose principal focus is pulmonary disease.

  • National Jewish Health has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as #1 or #2 every year that the Pulmonology category has been included in the rankings (since 1997). Of those years, National Jewish Health was in the #1 spot for 15 years.

  • U.S. News & World Report recently added a new award category, “Best high-performing-indicator-copd100x96.pngHospitals for Common Care.” This year, our COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) care and our Lung Cancer Surgery program were rated “high performing,” the highest rating available.

  • National Jewish Health has more than 45 doctors named on various lists, including as “America’s Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly, and "Top Docs" in the 5280 magazine 2016 rankings of Denver-area physicians.

  • National Jewish Health is in the top 8 percent of institutions in the country funded by the NIH, in terms of absolute dollars. This is a tremendous high-performing-indicator-lungcancer100x96-(1).pngachievement for a specialty hospital/research center.

  • Ranked among the leaders worldwide in the impact of our scientific publications, our faculty also have helped write the NHLBI 2007 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma.

Research Achievements

National Jewish Health is responsible for many important scientific advances, including:

  • IgE, the molecule responsible for allergic reactions. This discovery has become the basis for many new treatments for asthma and allergies.

  • The T-cell receptor gene, which plays a crucial role in recognizing foreign invaders and orchestrating an immune response. It opened the door to understanding how bodies fight viruses, bacteria and cancer.

  • Superantigens, extremely powerful bacterial toxins associated with particularly virulent diseases, such as toxic shock syndrome and Legionnaire’s disease.

  • Combined chemotherapy for tuberculosis. National Jewish Health physicians were among the leaders in developing this crucial tool for fighting tuberculosis.

  • Culture medium for tuberculosis. A low-cost medium to grow tuberculosis organisms, which could make evaluation of drug-resistance possible in many of the hardest hit nations.

  • Proteins that slow the growth of cancer tumors by preventing the growth of blood vessels necessary for their growth and survival. The discovery could lead to new therapies for cancer.

  • Mechanisms of apoptosis. Pioneering efforts have helped doctors understand how the body effectively removes and recycles up to two billion cells a day and resolves inflammation in the lung.

  • Immune response trigger. Research at National Jewish Health revealed exactly what triggers the adaptive immune response: fragments of proteins from invading organisms bound to and presented by MHC molecules.

  • The immunological synapse, a complex and long-lived connection between immune-system cells that greatly influences the immune response.

  • New family of anti-viral agents. A naturally occurring lipid fights viral infections in the lungs and the inflammation associated with them.

  • Methamphetamine hazards. Groundbreaking research identified hazardous chemical exposures associated with clandestine methamphetamine laboratories.

  • Breast cancer inhibitor. A protein known as cdk6 is low in breast cancer cells, and is being investigated as a potential tool for diagnosing breast cancer and as a therapy to fight it.

  • Genetic roots of pulmonary fibrosis. A team led by researchers at National Jewish Health discovered genetic mutations that increase the risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis by 7 to 22 times, offering insight into the origins and possible treatments for this devastating disease.

  • Food allergy cure. In several trials, patients have been desensitized to allergenic foods through repeated exposure to small amounts of the food or its proteins. Still in clinical trials.

  • Allergies to artificial joints. Researchers have developed a blood test that can detect allergy to nickel used in artificial joints, a common cause of failure.