Seattle researcher gets American Lung Association grant to study COVID-19 treatments

The American Lung Association in Washington recently announced that John Aitchison of Seattle Children’s Hospital was awarded the Lung Association’s coveted COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award.

Aitchison’s project aims to further research on the use of inhaled nanobodies to complement current COVID-19 vaccines and drugs to serve critically ill patients, act as a preventative treatment, and retain effectiveness against new variants of the virus.

“Here in Washington, we face continued lung health challenges from COVID-19 every day,” Season Oltmann, executive director of the American Lung Association in Washington, said. “This is in addition to our region’s lung health being threatened by poor air quality due to increased wildfire smoke, continued cigarette and e-cigarette use and more. Today, more than 917,000 people in our state are living with chronic lung disease.

“We are excited for John Aitchison to join the American Lung Association Research Team to help improve lung health here in Washington and across the nation.”

In the 2022-23 grants cycle, the Lung Association is funding $13.2 million for more than 130 lung health research grants. For this round of funding, the organization placed a greater focus on strategic partnerships with key organizations like American Thoracic Society and CHEST, along with grants that focus on equity, such as the Harold Amos Scholar.

Research projects funded by the Lung Association are carefully selected through scientific review and awardees represent the investigation of a wide range of complex issues.

Awards were given in eight different categories: ALA/AAAAI Allergic Respiratory Diseases Award; ALA/ATS/CHEST Foundation Respiratory Health Equity Research Award; Catalyst Award; COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award; Dalsemer Award; Innovation Award; Lung Cancer Discovery Award; and Public Policy Research Award.

For more information about the new grant awardees and the entire American Lung Association Research Team, visit