Dr. Kenneth Adler, professor of cell biology at the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has spent more than three decades investigating diseases of respiratory airways and the problem of excess mucus production—a condition that ranges from annoying in a cold to deadly in cystic fibrosis.
A top-ranked biomedical scientist, Dr. Adler discussed his work during a recent presentation at a TEDx Raleigh program. He explained how his laboratory is creating cellular defenses that may help millions suffering from diseases of the lung and upper respiratory system such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic bronchitis.
Dr. Adler’s research led to the discovery of a protein known as MARCKS—which is important in the secretory process—and to the synthesized peptide (MANS peptide) that blocks mucus hypersecretion in mice. This translational research has resulted in a drug now being tested in human patients.
Dr. Adler is a recipient of a MERIT Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Less than one percent of National Institutes of Health grant recipients receive MERIT Awards, which provide 10 years of grant support worth approximately $400,000 annually. Dr. Adler is also a recipient of the O. Max Gardner Award, the highest faculty honor presented by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors for a faculty member recognized as having “made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race.”
A faculty member in the CVM Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Adler also is a member of the NC State Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research.