Message from the Director, Fall 2021

Gordon Mitchell

Dear Colleagues:

I think we can all agree that this past year has made us thankful for plasticity, one of the very properties studied in our Center that confers benefits beyond resilience—it confers antifragility. In the face of major challenges, the Breathing Research and Therapeutics (BREATHE) community has not only survived (resilience), but thrived (antifragility). Despite the strains of working from home, caring for our loved ones, and even enduring personal loss, BREATHE Center members have made remarkable discoveries, published over 300 manuscripts, won numerous awards, found novel ways to engage students & colleagues from around the world (Zoom seminars anyone?), and secured an average of more than $1.13M per PI in annual research funding,

Our Center connects members from across 14 departments in 5 colleges with colleagues from across the world. During the past year, the BREATHE Center continued to educate the next generation of respiratory scientists through our NHLBI T32-funded BREATHE Training Program, utilized Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust Funds to bridge a financial gap of over $350k for younger researchers impacted by the campus shutdown, and developed an international online seminar series that has drawn thousands of participants from nearly 30 countries.

In the midst of all this, we formally changed our name from the Center for Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation (CRRR) to BREATHE to better reflect our fundamental mission: to understand physiological challenges to respiratory motor control and harness that understanding to develop new rehabilitation strategies for those suffering from impaired breathing or airway defense. If the past year has taught us anything, it is that breathing matters.

We hope you enjoy this inaugural edition of the BREATHE Bulletin and learn a bit more about our members’ recent accomplishments. I look forward to seeing you all, hopefully in person, over the next semester and bringing more collaborations to fruition in the post-COVID era.

Best wishes,