Research Helping Veterans Suffering from Lung Disease Post Deployment

Many service members who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan following 9/11 are left struggling today with debilitating lung and respiratory conditions. The combination of exposure to toxic burn pits, diesel fuel, industrial pollution and dust clouds has created long-lasting issues for veterans unlike pulmonary experts have ever seen. Dr. Cecile Rose, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Center of Excellence on Deployment-Related Lung Disease and Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at National Jewish Health is here to discuss the creation of the Center for Deployment-Related Lung Disease to advance research and better diagnose and treat the complex range of respiratory illnesses that veterans face. Today, the center is leading several clinical trials and has shared its ongoing research with pulmonologists and Veterans Affairs medical centers across the country to help veterans find the specialized respiratory care they need.

Dr. Cecile Rose is a professor of medicine in the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at National Jewish Health and has been a Department of Medicine faculty member since 1988. She is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and occupational/ environmental medicine, and has a master’s degree in public health.

Dr. Rose is medical director of the National Jewish Health Center of Excellence on Deployment-Related Lung Disease, which she began in 2010 and for which she has obtained sustained federal and private funding since its inception. Most recently, she is co-principal investigator with Greg Downey, MD, executive vice president of academic affairs, on two Department of Defense-funded, multi-investigator research studies focused on mechanisms of lung injury in military deployers. Dr. Rose’s major research interests have focused on occupational lung diseases, particularly those from exposure to organic and inorganic dusts, and mainly affecting military deployers and western miners. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, reviews and chapters on these topics.

Dr. Rose has a busy clinical practice focused on occupational and environmental lung diseases. She has mentored multiple students and junior faculty members who have become distinguished academic researchers and clinicians. She continues to teach in the pulmonary medicine and occupational/environmental medicine programs at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Rose has served as an invited member of the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine (NAS/IOM) Committee on the Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. She served for three years on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Research Study Section, including two years as chair. She is a member of the NAS/IOM standing Committee on Personal Protective Equipment and on the National Research Council Committee on the Study of the Control of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Exposure in Underground Mines. She serves on the NIOSH Respiratory Health Cross-Sector Council, planning for the third decade of our country’s National Occupational Research Agenda.

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