Research& Programs

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Research

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a member of several nationwide, multi-site clinical trial networks, including the American Lung Association Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC), Pulmonary Trials Cooperative (PTC), all which are funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Clinical Trials in COPD at the Breathe Chicago Center©


SOURCE, also known as SPIROMICS Study of Early COPD Progression, is a study to help us discover why some smokers get lung disease at a young age, while others don’t. Most studies of COPD have enrolled older individuals, while SOURCE will look at early signs of lung changes in young smokers to better understand the first stages of COPD. Participants do not need a COPD diagnosis to be in the study. This study is sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the COPD Foundation.

To enroll, email

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LungHealth Cohort

The Lung Health Cohort (LHC) study is the first federally funded, community-based cohort study of millennials in the nation. This study aims to discover what biomarkers as well as genetic and environmental factors lead to the development of lung disease, with the goal of being able to prevent it in the future. Participants will be followed for up to 4 years. This study is sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the American Lung Association (ALA).

We are actively recruiting healthy participants aged 25 to 35 to be part of this important project. If you are interested in signing up, reach out to


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects at least 15 million Americans and is one of the leading cause of death in the U.S. COPD exacerbations lead to about 700,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year.  Results from clinical trials and the recently published clinical guidelines indicate that long term use of either roflumilast or azithromycin significantly reduces the risk of COPD exacerbations.  No studies to date have directly compared long term roflumilast to azithromycin in patients with COPD, so it is unclear if one works better than the other.  The COPD Foundation’s Patient-Powered Research Network (PPRN) is leading a broad-based collaborative to conduct a large pragmatic trial called RELIANCE (RofLumilast or Azithromycin to preveNt COPD Exacerbations) to evaluate chronic roflumilast vs. azithromycin for the prevention of COPD exacerbations.

See why patients and clinicians are interested in the RELIANCE study:

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Research like RELIANCE helps doctors decide which medications to prescribe to their patients, view video below:


LEEP (Losartan Effects on Emphysema Progression) was a clinical trial for adults over the age of 40 who have mild to severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The purpose of this study was to learn how a medicine called losartan may help people who have COPD with emphysema, which is defined as lung tissue damage created over time. Participants were followed for 1 year. LEEP was sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The LEEP study has been completed.

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INSIGHT COPD (INtervention Study In overweiGHT patients with COPD) was a clinical trial to find out if a 12 month lifestyle program that promotes modest weight loss and increased physical activity would improve Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) symptoms for people who are overweight. INSIGHT COPD was sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The INSIGHT COPD study has been completed.

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PELICAn (PEer-Led o2 Info-line for patients and Caregivers) tested whether a patient-centered telephone support increased adherence and improved the health of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) using supplemental oxygen. PELICAn was funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

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Check out the PELICAn study article from the Lung Health Professional Magazine:

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The COPD Foundation, an advocacy organization for people with COPD and partner in this research study, provides access to educational material and resources for people living with COPD. Visit the COPD Foundation website here.


SPIROMICS (SubPopulations and InteRmediate Outcomes Measures In COPD Study) collects and analyzes phenotypic, biomarker, genetic, genomic, and clinical data from participants with COPD for the purpose of identifying sub-populations and intermediate outcome measures. SPIROMICS is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The SPIROMICS study is active but not currently enrolling new participants.

Read SPIROMICS Results


The University of Illinois at Chicago is one of 6 sites nationwide to participate in the CONCERT study (COPD Outcomes-based Network for Clinical Effectiveness Research Translation). Clinical trials in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) usually require evidence of airflow obstruction and clinical risk factors, whereas other definitions for classifying COPD are used for epidemiologic studies and performance improvement programs. The objective of the CONCERT study was to evaluate agreement between these definitions for COPD. The CONCERT study has been completed, but additional information about the CONCERT study and network can be found below.

See results below:

Read CONCERT Results

See results about stakeholder priorities for COPD effectiveness and implementation research:

Read CONCERT Results


STATCOPE (SimvaSTATin in the Prevention of COPD Exacerbations) was a clinical trial that investigated whether use of simvastatin, a medicine typically used to lower cholesterol, decreased the number and seriousness of COPD flare-ups. The STATCOPE study has been completed.

Read STATCOPE Results


PRR (Pulmonary Research Registry) is a community of people interested in lung health. Joining the registry lets researchers know you would like to be contacted about participating in research. Dr. Jerry Krishnan is a lung doctor and researcher at the Breathe Chicago Center© and leads this registry.

Learn more about the registry


RETHINC (REdefining THerapy IN early COPD) was a clinical trial to determine if individuals with early signs of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) benefits from a long-acting bronchodilator medicine (indacaterol/glycopyrrolate). Many people with COPD have evidence of airflow obstruction on a special breathing test called spirometry; however, a subset of people with COPD do not demonstrate airflow obstruction, but have symptoms such as chronic cough and shortness of breath. RETHINC studied whether current and former smokers who do not have evidence of airflow obstruction on spirometry benefit from long-acting bronchodilators. RETHINC was sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The RETHINC study has been completed.

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