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Our research focus is on all sinus-related diseases, including allergies, nasal and sinus infections, immune dysfunction, taste and smell disorders, deviated septum, nasal obstruction, asthma, nasal polyps, tumors involving the nose and sinuses and issues that affect the cosmetic appearance of the nose. 

Although chronic rhinosinusitis affects roughly 10 percent of the population, little is known however about who gets it and why they get it, and treatment options are limited. The objective of CRISP is to advance the current understanding of chronic rhinosinusitis genetics, epidemiology and immunopathogenesis, with the ultimate goal of improving disease treatment and prevention.

CRISP is sponsored by a U19 award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (U19-AI106683), and our director, Robert Schleimer, PhD, is the principal investigator. The project is a collaboration with Johns Hopkins University/Geisinger Health System and The University of Chicago. See our publications page to review our team's scholarly work.

CRISP Projects

  • Project 1: Epidemiology of CRS
    This project is advancing a large-scale epidemiologic study of CRS by leveraging the unique data and population assets of the Geisinger Clinic, including a primary care population of 400,000 patients in over 30 counties in Pennsylvania. 
  • Project 2: Pathogenic Mechanisms of CRS
    Project 2 investigates the pathogenic mechanisms of CRS in collaboration with the other projects to test important hypotheses with clinical and potential therapeutic relevance in CRS.
  • Project 3: Genetic Studies in CRS
    In this project, we are working to identify the key response genes and controller genes that drive CRS.

The Sinus and Allergy Program also partcipates in the following additional research:

  • Development of outcome measures studying CRS
  • The evaluation of Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease
  • Prevalence of associated comorbidities in CRS including immunodeficiencies
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis registry
  • RESOLVE II – Steroid-Releasing S8 Sinus Implant
  • Clinical trials with chronic rinosinusitis with nasal polyps

Other Ongoing Research Projects

  • R01 HL68546-24 NIH/NHLBI - Glucocorticoid Action in Inflammatory Disease.
    Goal: To assess the mechanisms of glucocorticoid actions in allergic disease and experimental antigen challenge.
  • R01 AI104733 NIH/NIAID - Role of Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin in Chronic Rhinosinusitis
    Goal: The studies in this grant will test our hypothesis that the over production of TSLP and its truncated products contribute to the initiation and activation of polypoid chronic rhinosinusitis.
  • Integrative Studies Project (CRISP) and new opportunities to understand type 2 (allergic) diseases.
    Goal: Studies of PPG supplement: Hormones in the pathogenesis of CRS.

Administrative Cores

Core A: Administrative Core

The Administrative Core is directed by Robert Schleimer, PhD. The primary purposes of the Administrative Core A are to: provide central administrative services for CRISP and the participating centers; to facilitate communications among the investigators of CRISP and convene Advisory Boards; to assure the dissemination of discoveries made by CRISP investigators; to promote the training of young investigators to pursue CRS research; and to promote the synergies that result from interdisciplinary collaborations.


Core B: Laboratory Core

The Laboratory Core is directed by Robert Kern, MD, and Atsushi Kato, PhD. The laboratory component of Core B receives and stores clinical specimens collected in all three projects. It also supports and assists in routine laboratory work for Project 2. This includes the isolation of total RNA from tissues and epithelial scrapings, isolation of DNA from tissue and blood, isolation of serum, preparation of tissue homogenates, preparation of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues and preparation of frozen tissue sections. Additionally, the Laboratory Core cultures, expands and stimulates uncinate tissue epithelial cells (UTEC) obtained from healthy subjects and patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps for studies proposed by Project 3.