Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. COPD exhausts the ability of lung stem cells to regenerate and maintain healthy lung function. The prestigious RI-MUHC Trottier Webster Innovation Award has been awarded to Dr. Ben Smith and his team to conduct a groundbreaking study that will give hope to patients living with COPD to breathe normally again. Using a new class of treatments called RNA therapeutics, the same technology that makes the COVID-19 vaccine work, they hope to repair damaged lung tissue and move one step closer to a cure for this deadly disease.
Dr. Ben Smith is a member of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories and RECRU, Scientist in the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program and Associate Director of the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.