Developing a surrogate marker to asthmatic tissue: the nasal cavity

Our research proposal will explore the unified airway theory and determine whether the sinuses express biological similarities to the lungs in participants who only clinically present with Chronic Rhinosinusitis (CRS)or asthma and not with both diseases. The unified airway theory suggests that the lower (lungs) and upper (sinuses) airways are intrinsically connected and function together as one unit and the biological processes, such as inflammation, in the lower airway are similar in the upper airway. Therefore, we will examine several markers of inflammation by measuring gene expression levels of inflammatory cells and proteins in both the upper and lower airways. We expect that participants who have CRS either with or without asthma will exhibit a unified airway by displaying similar inflammatory markers in the lungs and sinuses if their diseases are immune driven. We do not expect to see a unified airway in participants whoseCRS is due to a localized infection, structural risk factors, or isolated sinus disease. Discovering when the inflammatory profiles of the sinuses and lungs are the same in participants who only have CRS or asthma will provide novel evidence for the unified airway theory and support for the possibility of using the sinus TOBECONT’.

Faculty Supervisor:

Andrew Thamboo


Rogério Pezato


Providence Health Care




Health care and social assistance


University of British Columbia



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