Boushey Earns ATS’s Highest Honor


Homer A. Boushey Jr., MD

Homer A. Boushey Jr., MD

Homer A. Boushey Jr., MD, will be presented the Breathing for Life Award at the annual ATS Research Program Benefit on Saturday, May 16, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Grand Ballroom. Dr. Boushey is a pulmonologist and chief of allergy and immunology at the University of California San Francisco Health (UCSF).

Dr. Boushey is recognized nationally and internationally for his work in the field of pulmonary medicine. He is an expert in clinical research on diseases of the airways, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and has focused on the effects of pollutants, allergens, and infectious agents. He conducted some of the first controlled studies exposing people with asthma to low levels of air pollutants — research that led quickly to California revising its air pollution standards for sulfur dioxide and re-authorizing the Clean Air Act.

His research led to the demonstration of a non-invasive method of assessing airway mucosal inflammation, which he used to study new asthma therapies. He also was part of a team that began researching the microbiome and asthma — an investigation that began with a small grant from a grateful patient and is now part of a major UCSF center on the microbiome and disease.

Throughout his career, the 2020 Breathing for Life recipient has never lost sight of the goal of research: to improve patient care. In the 1970s, he started an asthma education and support group at UCSF. He worked closely with nurses to improve self-management, and as ATS president in 2003-2004, he championed an initiative to introduce primary care providers to the benefits of using simple pulmonary function testing in their practices.

The Breathing for Life Award is the highest honor given by the American Thoracic Society for philanthropy, scientific achievement, and commitment to mentorship.

The ATS would like to thank GlaxoSmithKline for its Sapphire Level Support of the 12th Annual ATS Research Program Benefit.