Johnny Carson Foundation Donates $112K to COPD Research

(FILES) Photo dated 17 August 1995 of re

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Lundquist Institute, a nonprofit research organization affiliated with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, announced Tuesday it has received a $112,000 grant from the Johnny Carson Foundation to support the study of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- the condition from which the late  "Tonight Show" host suffered before his death in 2005.

The money will be ticketed for training "the next generation of COPD researchers" at its Institute of Respiratory Medicine and Exercise Physiology, according to a statement from the Lundquist Institute.

"We are elated to have received this generous grant from the Johnny Carson Foundation," said Harry Rossiter, co-director of the Institute of Respiratory Medicine and Exercise Physiology and a professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

"This grant will go toward our unique research training program that brings together basic, translational and clinical researchers devoted to the understanding of physiological impacts of chronic respiratory disorders on respiratory and physical function and to translate this knowledge into therapeutic strategies.

"Our research efforts are embedded alongside the county hospital system, focusing on patients from diverse and underserved backgrounds."

Rossiter added, "We are also pleased to be addressing COPD, the very disease that Johnny Carson suffered from in his life."

COPD afflicts about 30 million people in the United States and is the third-leading cause of death, according to the Ludquist Institute.

The organization's research focuses on physiology and medicine involving the lungs, heart, blood, muscles and the immune and nervous systems "for patients in whom shortness-of breath and exercise intolerance are major symptoms," its statement said.

Allan Alexander, CEO and president of the Johnny Carson Foundation, said, "We see this grant as an investment in the important research and training needed to treat respiratory disease. Having an impact on the future of respiratory medicine is a goal of our foundation and we look forward to seeing the results of this critical work."

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