The National Institutes of Health has awarded a Yale University researcher a four-year, $3 million grant to investigate the molecular networks that underlie the histological features of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), with the goal of better understanding the disease and eventually developing therapeutic interventions.

IPF is a progressive disease characterized by scarring of lung tissue, which hinders the lung’s ability to transport oxygen. It has no known cause and the only available treatment is lung transplantation.

According to Yale’s Naftali Kaminski, the disease has a number of well-established histopathological features including alveolar cell hyperplasia, an abundance of myofibroblast foci, and aberrant remodeling.