Welcome to SPIROMICS, a comprehensive research study of COPD

What is COPD?

COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a lung disease that develops slowly over time and is common among people who have been exposed to tobacco smoke. As the disease progresses, airways narrow and lung tissue becomes damaged, affecting the flow of air through the lungs. 

COPD symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and increased mucus production. The early stages of COPD are easy to overlook, since people may not have symptoms until years after the disease begins. It is thought that for every person diagnosed with COPD, another person goes undiagnosed.

According to the World Health Organization, COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide. No current medical therapies slow disease progression, in part because each case of COPD is somewhat unique.

Learn more about COPD

Join our SOURCE Study


The goal of SPIROMICS, the SubPopulations and InteRmediate Outcome Measures in COPD Study, is to understand COPD to a level we collectively never have before. With the help of our participants who have different stages of COPD, we are tracking genetic, physiologic, and other clinical changes over time, to hopefully help identify better treatments.

SPIROMICS is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the COPD Foundation.

What makes SPIROMICS unique?

SPIROMICS, and its sister study SOURCE, are unique because of their large scale and multifaceted approach. From genetic factors, to inflammatory changes, to diagnostic imaging and participant feedback about their health. We are really going at COPD from all angles.

Our Research Teams are led by top pulmonologists around the United States, and each site and our participants contribute to an immense and growing body of knowledge.

You can learn more about our study and goals here.

Is SPIROMICS still enrolling participants?

No, however we are currently enrolling for our sister study, SOURCE.

SOURCE is focused on younger individuals (30-55 years of age) with a history of smoking. The SOURCE study will help identify what happens to the lungs in the earliest phases of smoke exposure. This research may eventually lead to the discovery of new ways to prevent or treat COPD.

We deeply value the contributions of our 2,982 SPIROMICS participants across the US. Many of these individuals graciously continue to give their time for clinic visits and follow-up.

Thank you for helping us to better understand this critically important disease.

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The American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference 2024 will be held May 17-22, 2024 in San Diego, CA. Registration is open. See a schedule of ATS 2024 events related to the SPIROMICS study and other conference highlights.


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The SPIROMICS study gained national media attention in August for a new publication, which you can read about in our newsletter. “The number of people with smoking-related lung disease is bigger than we used to think. Only 50% of smokers get COPD, but if you count this disease, it's a much bigger percentage that has chronic problems." - Prescott Woodruff, Lead Investigator, SPIROMICS

McKleroy W, Shing T, Anderson WH, et al. Longitudinal Follow-Up of Participants With Tobacco Exposure and Preserved Spirometry. JAMA. 2023;330(5):442–453. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.11676. Pubmed ID: 37526720