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The Cohen Family Asthma Institute


Our scientists are committed to curing severe asthma and improving the lives of those living with this chronic condition. More than 30 scientists, from basic to translational to clinical science, are part of the asthma research team.

Clinical Trials & Research

Our researchers are currently in need of adult and pediatric asthma study participants to help us pursue better treatments and cures. If you are interested in our clinical trials, please click here or email  or call 303.398.1443.

National Jewish Health is part of the PrecISE (Precision Interventions for Severe and/or Exacerbation-Prone) asthma network, a multi-site clinical study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). PrecISE's physician scientists are dedicated to researching better treatments for people living with severe asthma.

Asthma Trials


Since opening, the Cohen Family Asthma Institute has:

  • Dr Beuther listening to a patients heartEstablished a joint, advanced clinical trials research program at National Jewish Health, staffed by research coordinators, regulatory personnel, nurses and clinical staff. The program is engaging in clinical research funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Lung Association and the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Participated in ground breaking clinical and translational research that has led to the development of novel asthma therapies and given us insight into asthma mechanisms. This work has already led to Food and Drug Administration approval of new medications for severe asthma.

  • Recruited several leaders in asthma research and care to be a part of the Asthma Institute, including Tasha Fingerlin, PhD, Director of the Center for Genes, Environment and Health; Pamela Zeitlin, MD, PhD, Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Richard Reinhardt, PhD, Department of Biomedical Research and Vamsi Guntur, MD in the Department of Medicine. These physicians and scientists will lead National Jewish Health into the future of severe asthma research and treatment.

  • Established an asthma cohort which can help characterize the Implemented a plan that transitions adolescent pediatric patients that are seen at the adult Department of Medicine with Flavia Hoyte, MD, a National Jewish Health.

  • Partnered with several groups at our collaborating institutions to standardize asthma clinical care across the United States

  • Engaged allergists and immunologists trained in multi-centered investigations in both adult and pediatric asthma.

Asthma Samples Available for Research

Through the Asthma Institute, we have collected blood, BAL, and brushings.

Please email if interested in utilizing samples requested for IRB approved research or if interested in looking at our rich clinical asthma cohort phenotypes.

Our Researchers

Dr. Voelker & Dr. WechslerMichael Wechsler, MD, Director of the NJH Cohen Family Asthma Institute, has led clinical trials focused on personalizing the approach to patients with severe asthma and related diseases. His work on identifying precision approaches for the treatment of asthma in the elderly and in Blacks, and his research on novel therapies for asthma and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis such as mepolizumab, reslizumab has been published in the New England Journal of medicine, the Lancet and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). He is currently the Principal Investigator of the Denver site of the NIH’s Precision Interventions in Severe/Exacerbating Asthma (Precise) Network.

Max Seibold, PhD, Associate Professor in the Center for Genes, Environment and Health, and his team are studying how asthma patients’ airway cells behave differently than those of healthy people. The team has collected more than 700 samples from the nasal airways of both healthy and asthmatic children to define different types of asthma and predict how individual patients with asthma will respond to specific medications.

Dennis Voelker, PhD, and his colleagues, including Drs. Fingerlin and Seibold, have earned a grant from the National Institutes of Health to apply the genetic techniques and research tools to study asthma attacks caused by the rhinovirus, the virus that causes the common cold. They will work to understand the specific mechanisms that drive asthma attacks and to identify potential diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to prevent them.

Richard Martin, MD, Former Chair of the Department of Medicine at National Jewish Health, and James Good, MD, Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, have identified five distinct phenotypes, or characteristics, among severe asthma patients. They used bronchoscopy to directly examine the lungs and gather fluid and tissues enabling identification of mutually exclusive asthma phenotypes that provide insight into the pathways involved in the different inflammatory responses that cause asthma. This approach enables them to identify biomarkers that indicate a specific phenotype and treatment protocol.

Dr. Alam’s Lab is interested in immunologic and molecular studies of severe refractory asthma.  He studies genes, molecules and pathways using blood and airway cells from asthmatic patients.  He conducts mechanistic and preclinical studies in mouse models of asthma.  His research identified novel immune subtypes (endotypes) of asthma (e.g. Th2/Th17 high and ILC2 high asthma) and the mechanism of their steroid resistance.