Marlene Cano, MD, PhD, was recently awarded the Unrestricted Early Career Grant for Diversity from the American Thoracic Society for the 2023-2024 academic year. Only one of these is awarded annually to diverse, early-stage investigators interested in basic science, translational, or clinical research in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. The award covers salary, supplies, or a combination of the two.
Her current research focuses on how mitochondrial dysfunction, defective mitophagy or metabolic adaptations in the innate immune system result in augmented alloimmune responses that drive chronic lung rejection, as well as how intrinsically inflammatory circulating mitochondrial-DNA released from damaged cells/organs are associated with increased disease severity in sepsis, ARDS and in COVID-19 disease with specific in affects on lung transplant patients.
A core value of the American Thoracic Society is to attain the highest level of respiratory health for all people. Achieving health equality requires placing equal value on all people, as well as implementing and maintaining focused societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, along with historical and contemporary injustices. Diversity and inclusion are critical to achieving health equality.