Research FAQ

The University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute is proud of the commitment and dedication of our asthma patients and research study participants. To date, over 1600 asthmatics have signed up to participate in an asthma research study with us and have enabled the Asthma Institute to be a national leader in the discovery of new treatment options for patients with asthma. Many of our volunteers are local, but some have traveled as far as California.

Asthma Research Is The Key To:

  • Discovering new and better treatments for asthma patients
  • Improving health
  • Finding a cure for asthma

Benefits To You:

  • Medication at no cost
  • Lung testing at no cost
  • Asthma education
  • Financial compensation for your time and effort
  • Parking or bus fare

We will respond to your inquiry by asking you some initial questions about your asthma. Then, we will schedule an appointment for you to meet with one of our asthma research study coordinators at the Asthma Institute in Oakland. The visit will last approximately 1.5 hours, and you will receive a lung test at no cost and financial compensation up to $30 for your time, along with parking or bus fare.

What is a clinical research study?

A clinical research study is a scientific way to improve health care. Studies can be designed to answer specific questions on how to better prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases and disorders. Clinical Trials involve testing new medicines or devices. They are important to the discovery and confirmation that treatments actually improve the patient health.

Why do people participate in research studies?

Volunteers participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons: some volunteers may hope to improve their health by accessing interventions before they become widely available, others may also wish to help advance science for the benefit of the larger population with the disease. Experimental and established medications are provided to qualified participants at no cost. Most participants report that their participation in clinical studies increases their understanding of their disease and how to manage it.

How are study participants protected?

Safety is a top priority for Dr. Wenzel and her research staff. We take pride in the conduct of these studies, and we do our best to provide study participants with excellent care. In addition, the federal government has regulations to protect research volunteers; all research studies and clinical trials in the United States must be approved and monitored by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is made up of scientists, doctors, and community people who review research studies and clinical trials to make sure that volunteers are as safe as possible.

What kinds of studies are at the Asthma Institute?

There are several clinical trials being conducted at the Asthma Institute. Some are investigating innovative ways to treat asthma by focusing on Eosinophils, or inflammation of the airways. Other studies examine different contributing factors, such as obesity. All of our studies require patient information related to health and asthma history, and lung function. We are especially interested in improving the lives of people with severe or difficult to treat asthma.

For a list of current studies at the Asthma Institute, see our Current Studies page.

How does this help others?

These studies benefit participants and asthma sufferers all over the world; by discovering how asthma works, we can work to advance asthma treatment. Information gathered from these studies not only helps the Asthma Institute develop a better understanding for the treatment of asthma; the data is used by other collaborative centers all over the nation. All of the medicines we currently have for asthma treatment were developed through clinical trials. To further our research and continue discovering treatments, we need participants—like you!

To learn more about any or all of our current studies, please contact us at 412-647-9955,, or by using the form at the bottom of the page.