Public Release: 

Northwestern Medicine awarded more than $8.4 million for chronic rhinosinusitis research

Sinus and Allergy Center receives NIH-supported research grant to help advance development of new treatments

Northwestern Memorial HealthCare

CHICAGO - The Northwestern Medicine® Sinus and Allergy Center has received a grant for more than $8.4 million from the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to help advance the understanding of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and the development of new methods for its treatment over the next five years. The grant will fund research by the newly formed Chronic Rhinosinusitis Integrative Studies Program (CRISP), which is comprised of research groups from Northwestern Medicine, The University of Chicago and Geisinger Health System.

CRS is an often debilitating condition that causes pain and congestion in the sinuses due to inflammation from an infection or other irritants that lasts anywhere from more than 12 weeks to several years. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nearly 30 million Americans suffer from CRS and approximately $6 billion in healthcare costs can be attributed to its treatment annually.

"Treatments for chronic rhinosinusitis have remained largely unchanged for decades and there is a great need for more research," said principal investigator for CRISP Robert P. Schleimer, PhD, who is also chief of the division of allergy-immunology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Many patients with CRS are forced to undergo multiple surgeries to successfully widen or clear their nasal passages. Rhinosinusitis is also the number one reason adults in America are prescribed antibiotics, which is a major cause for the growing number antibiotic resistant strains of infectious diseases."

The program's research will aim to better understand the epidemiology, genetics and pathogenesis of CRS, most of which remain unknown, with the goal that it will ultimately lead to strategies for the development of new, more effective treatment options.

"There has traditionally been a lack of funding for CRS research," said Robert Kern, MD, chair of otolaryngology at Northwestern Memorial and the Feinberg School of Medicine. "I think the NIAID recognizes that there is an unmet need for more CRS research and that our Sinus and Allergy Center is well-equipped to help guide that research since it is composed of otolaryngists, allergists and bench scientists who often don't collaborate at other medical centers."

The research will be supported through July 2018 with grant PAR-10-271 National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).


To learn more about Northwestern Medicine's sinus and allergy care, or to find a physician, called 312-912-0779 or visit the website.

About Northwestern Medicine®

Northwestern Medicine® is the collaboration between Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine around a strategic vision to transform the future of healthcare. It encompasses the research, teaching and patient care activities of the academic medical center. Sharing a commitment to superior quality, academic excellence and patient safety, the organizations within Northwestern Medicine comprise more than 9,000 clinical and administrative staff, 3,100 medical and science faculty and 700 students. The entities involved in Northwestern Medicine remain separate organizations. Northwestern Medicine is a trademark of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and is used by Northwestern University.

About Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Northwestern Memorial is one of the country's premier academic medical center hospitals and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Along with its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry, the hospital has 1,705 affiliated physicians and 6,769 employees. Northwestern Memorial is recognized for providing exemplary patient care and state-of-the art advancements in the areas of cardiovascular care; women's health; oncology; neurology and neurosurgery; solid organ and soft tissue transplants and orthopaedics.

Northwestern Memorial has nursing Magnet Status, the nation's highest recognition for patient care and nursing excellence. Northwestern Memorial ranks 6th in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report 2013-14 Honor Roll of America's Best Hospitals. The hospital is recognized in 14 of 16 clinical specialties rated by U.S. News and is No. 1 in Illinois and Chicago in U.S. News' 2013-14 state and metro rankings, respectively. For 14 years running, Northwestern Memorial has been rated among the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" guide by Working Mother magazine. The hospital is a recipient of the prestigious National Quality Health Care Award and has been chosen by Chicagoans as the Consumer Choice according to the National Research Corporation's annual survey for 15 consecutive years.

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