NEWS | May 26, 2016

Schivo receives grant to expand research on breath test for lung disease


UC Davis pulmonary medicine specialist Michael Schivo has received funding from the National Institutes of Health to expand his research on the breath biomarkers of lung disease.

Dr. Michael Schivo Dr. Michael Schivo

Schivo and his team will use the new three-year, $500,000 grant to identify the link between volatile organic compounds — or VOCs — in breath droplets during the early stages of upper respiratory infections, such as influenza, which can increase the number and severity of symptom exacerbations in asthmatics. His goal is to create small, highly sensitive devices that measure VOCs and indicate the need for additional medications.

Schivo’s work has already shown that culture tests on VOCs from airway cells can be used to detect the early stages of respiratory viruses

“The new funding gives us the chance to compare our culture data with data on VOCs in human breath,” said Schivo, assistant professor of internal medicine. “We ultimately want to provide patients who have asthma with tools they can easily use to detect severe attacks at the point when they are most effectively treated and potentially even avoided.”

The new project is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (grant number 1K23HL127185-01A1).

More information on the UC Davis Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine is online.