Research is an integral component to advancing patient care within the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine (PACCS).

Clinical and Translational Research

Our division is actively conducting clinical and translational research and is enrolling patients in research trials for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, asthma, acute lung injury, Valley Fever, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), microbiome, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and sleep disorders. We are testing new therapies for these conditions and are leaders in the field aimed at curing these diseases. In addition, we are testing methods to better care for patients with sleep disorders, working with a highly inter-disciplinary team from outside the Division to ensure that outcomes and treatments are the best they can be for each individual patient.


Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Acute Lung Injury Research

The PACCS division is engaged in several cutting-edge studies looking at sedation in the ICU, how to decrease lung water in patients with lung injury, and survival amongst different ethnic groups when they are critically ill. A better understanding of these ICU practices and outcomes will enable us to increase survival and improve therapies.

Sleep Research

Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia and other sleep disorders affects millions of Americans and is linked to cardiovascular diseases, cancer and obesity. Our sleep research programs—coordinated through the UA Health Sciences Center for Sleep, Circadian & Neuroscience Research—are aimed to improve treatment adherence and to delineate mechanisms of poor sleep. These studies include the immunology of sleep, sleep in the critically ill and the psychological aspects of sleep.

Asthma and Emphysema Research 

In collaboration with the new UA Health Sciences Asthma & Airway Disease Research Center (formerly the Arizona Respiratory Center), an internationally recognized group of scientists from diverse disciplines work together to perform basic, clinical and translational research to find the cause and cure for asthma. The focus is on interdisciplinary approaches to asthma and related airway disease (i.e., emphysema and cystic fibrosis) — applying advances in molecular biology, genetics and microbiome research..

Training in Pulmonary Research

The PACCS division and the ARC have a long tradition of fostering the careers of young physician scientists. The wide variety of scientific opportunities that are available makes for a rich and individually tailored research experience for our trainees. Undergraduate students, graduate students, medical students, residents, clinical and post-doctoral fellows all currently work in laboratories and on research projects with their internationally known mentors. In collaboration with the College of Medicine, training includes advanced technological methods, data analysis, writing grant proposals, collaborating with other investigators and understanding regulatory issues. Several training grants are available at the UA, allowing trainees and junior faculty dedicated research time.

Current Clinical Trials

In the PACCS division and the ARC/A2DRC, several clinical research trials involve randomization to a study group while others use surveys or evaluate medical records to find new and better ways to help people. We often recruit healthy subjects, or controls, to better evaluate and compare results with those of non-healthy subjects.

Topics to be explored include:

  • Asthma 
  • Bronchial Thermoplasty 
  • COPD 
  • Cystic Fibrosis 
  • Genomic Research in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and Sarcoidosis (GRADS) 
  • HIV
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 
  • Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome 
  • Pulmonary Hypertension 
  • Sleep Apnea 

Find active PACCS studies on the topics above and more at the following websites:

Asthma & Airway Disease Research Center

          Clinical & Population Research 
          Applied & Basic Research

Center for Sleep, Circadian & Neuroscience Research

University of Arizona Cancer Center

Additionally, at the Clinical Research Studies website of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, there are currently nearly a dozen Asthma/Lung studies listed. You can explore these as well as current allergy, HIV, immunology and other investigations at this site.

How to Participate

Whether you’re a potential candidate to participate as a patient or subject in the study, you would like to participate as a "healthy volunteer" for the control group or you’re a research or clinical professional interested in collaborating with the research team—simply contact the study coordinator or principal investigator listed for each individual clinical research study at the links above.