Study Examines Childhood Asthma in Hispanics Using Multi-omics Approach

June 13, 2021

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine researchers Wei Chen, PhD, and Division Chief Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH, ATSF, are conducting a study using a multi-omics analysis to identify genetic markers and epigenetic variants that may influence pulmonary function and asthma in the high-risk population of Puerto Rican children and adolescents.

The study is an R21 investigation funded by the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It builds upon data from numerous studies conducted by the research team during the past 15 years that have collected population level and genome-wide genotypic data from Puerto Rican children and adolescents who participated in the Epigenetic Variation and Childhood Asthma in Puerto Ricans study, among other investigations.

Preliminary studies led by Drs. Chen and Celedón have led them to hypothesize that an understanding of the complex relationships among multi-omics data in the nasal epithelium will further reveal epigenomic and transcriptomic profiles associated with asthma and lung function in Puerto Rican children and in other ethnic groups. 

The aims of the current study are twofold. First, the team will perform admixture mapping and integrate association signals for asthma and lung function measures with analyses of GW genotypic data, and GW DNA methylation and GW gene expression data from the nasal epithelium. Next, the study will examine the interplay among multi-omics data and quantify their relative contributions to asthma and lung function measures.

The outcomes from the investigation should provide additional clarity around the genetic, epigenetic variations, and transcriptomic markers which may influence asthma and lung function in the study cohort. This data will be beneficial in more clearly understanding the pathogenesis of asthma and potential targets for treatment or preventive measures.


Multi-omics Analysis of Childhood Asthma in Hispanics. 1R21HL150431. Principal Investigators:  Wei Chen, PhD and Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPh, ATSF.

Learn More About Dr. Chen. Learn More About Dr. Celedón and the Celedón Laboratory for Pediatric Asthma Research.