Lin Receives $3.2 Million NIH Grant for Lung Study

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ching-Long Lin, University of Iowa professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and faculty research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, has been awarded a five-year 3.2M grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to build a novel integrative statistics-guided image-based lung model for assessment and prediction of lung functions at both individual and population scales.

Lin will serve as a project director on the grant to integrate statistical analysis of clinical and imaging data, in a large population of patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with sensitive lung functional variables predicted by a multi-scale subject-specific lung model. The study aims to identify phenotypic biomarkers and metrics for clustering and classification of healthy and diseased lungs in sub-populations, and establish the link between inhaled irritants and inflammatory processes in airways and tissues. The ultimate goal of the research is to translate big clinical, imaging and modeling data to graphical or other simple forms in a cloud-computing setting that are accessible to physicians and patients, for improved patient phenotyping and hence patient-specific therapy.

The project is collaboration among the College of Engineering, the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, with Lin's UI colleagues being professors Eric A. Hoffman, John Newell, and Kung-Sik Chan.

"I'm very pleased to have received this new NIH grant to study the lung structure-function relationship in sub-populations and its interplays with environmental factors due to inhalational exposure. The bridging between population and individual scales is a compelling multi-scale problem in the context of big data and precision medicine." he said.

Lin has an on-going NIH grant received in 2010 to study the interactions between pulmonary airflow, lung mechanics and cell response for the human airway defense system, which was a competitive renewal of his earlier NIH grant received in 2005 to develop a multi-scale digital lung mode. Lin also received a NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) in 2008 to purchase a supercomputer to support cardiopulmonary research. Lin was elected and inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows in 2013. Lin also led the effort to publish a special issue of the Journal of Computational Physics on Multi-scale Modeling and Simulation of Biological Systems in 2013 (http://now.uiowa.edu/2013/07/lin-leads-effort-publish-special-issue-journal-computational-physics).