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ATS Research Program Announces 2021 Diversity Grant Awardee

New York – The ATS is excited to announce that Edwin Nuwagira, MMED, of Mbarara University of Science and Technology has been awarded the 2021 ATS Diversity Grant for his project, “Improving Pulmonary function after Tuberculosis in Uganda (IMPACT-U).”

Historically, tuberculosis has been the leading global cause of mortality from a single infectious agent globally, ranking higher than HIV. The World Health Organization  focuses on microbiological cure as treatment success, but recent evidence has shown that patients previously treated for tuberculosis suffer from persistent health impairment, ranging from mild respiratory symptoms to severe forms of chronic lung disease that are not captured in routine WHO reporting. Dr. Nuwagira and others have recently shown that about a quarter of the patients who completed treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis developed obstructive lung disease, and his work will provide longitudinal follow-up for patients after microbiologic cure of tuberculosis to identify risk factors for morbidity, and mortality associated with post-tuberculosis lung disease (PTLD). It will also identify barriers to accessing care for PTLD patients through qualitative interviews.

“Though COVID-19 has been the major respiratory threat facing the global population over the past two years, TB remains a major public health concern in many parts of the world,” said Kamran Atabai, MD, chair of the ATS Scientific Grant Review Committee. “Dr. Nuwagira’s work seeks to expand our knowledge of the disease, while simultaneously working to improve patient outcomes. It is an honor to recognize him with this grant award.”

In addition to providing patient follow-up care, Dr. Nuwagira’s work will establish a dedicated PTLD clinic at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, provide data to develop a screening tool for PTLD diagnosis, and help health care facilities design future interventions for diagnosis and management of PTLD.

Visit the ATS Research Program website to learn more.


About the ATS Research Program
The American Thoracic Society and its Research Program are improving respiratory health worldwide by supporting young investigators in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. The ATS Research Program, established in 2004, bolsters new investigators as they strive to launch independent research careers dedicated to innovation in patient care.
Since 2004, the Research Program has awarded $21.9 million in research grants to 321 investigators who have gone on to secure more than $491 million in federal funding. That's a return on investment of $22 per dollar awarded.

About the American Thoracic Society
Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world's leading medical society dedicated to accelerating the advancement of global respiratory health through multidisciplinary collaboration, education, and advocacy. Core activities of the Society’s more than 16,000 members are focused on leading scientific discoveries, advancing professional development, impacting global health, and transforming patient care. Key areas of member focus include developing clinical practice guidelines, hosting the annual International Conference, publishing four peer-reviewed journals, advocating for improved respiratory health globally, and developing an array of patient education and career development resources.
Please visit our website to learn more.