Principal Investigator (Asthma), Steering Committee Member
Rajesh Kumar, MD is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and an attending physician Ann and Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Dr. Kumar’s research is focused on the early life exposures and genetic / ancestry related factors which are associated with the development of early childhood wheezing, and asthma. In particular, differentially distributed risk factors and differentially distributed genetic factors may contribute to asthma health disparities in inner city populations. In terms of differentially distributed genetic factors, we have focused on both proxies such as genetic ancestry and specific biological pathways such as PAI-1. We have evaluated the role of ancestry in modulating phenotypes such as plateau lung function, atopic sensitization, and effects of smoking on lung function decline. We also have evaluated the role of a number of racially differentially distributed early life factors (such as maternal obesity, chorioamnionitis, and gestational diabetes among others) on the development of asthma and associated phenotypes including atopy.
Dr. Kumar has ongoing collaborations with investigators at UCSF, Northwestern University, and national genetics and pulmonary consortia involving NHLBI cohorts (CARDIA, and CAAPA). Dr. Kumar is the project lead for the asthma project of AAD-PEPR at Northwestern University and serves as the representative for the CHICAGO plan which is one of 3 studies collaborating with AAD-PEPR to validate the PROMIS measures in asthma.