Our Story

The Modena Asthma Lab was founded on one principle–to keep patients out of the doctor’s office.

How do we do this?
Through education, empowerment, and teaching self-care.

The scary moments for children with asthma, as I can attest, are when they’re alone with their asthma. Not literally alone, but feeling alone and frustrated while struggling to breath. Or feeling alone in the fright and helplessness of not being able to breathe despite the best medical treatments. Or with the thought they are in some way flawed, or weaker than their peers.

As a lifelong sufferer of asthma, I can remember all these emotions. For many of us with asthma, we carry these memories our entire lives.

For children, having asthma means feeling different than your peers. It also means losing confidence in running, playing sports, and being away from home. Medically, it often means going to the emergency department unexpectedly, plus missed days of school or work.  For some, it means a permanent loss in lung function.


When I look back and think of asthma in my life, I don’t feel that having asthma made my childhood any less wonderful, or even too much different than others. One part of it is that asthma sufferers hardly complain about their asthma.

Asthma sufferers many times would not admit that they are in any way weaker or different from their peers.

The other part is that people with asthma often get “used to” coughing, wheezing, being sick, etc.

On the other hand, it may have been months (or even years) since a person has had a bad asthma exacerbation. I.e. we have simply blocked it from our minds altogether. Maybe this explains why asthma does not receive the recognition it deserves.


Nonetheless, asthma persists as a major problem for millions. In 2007, the cost of asthma was estimated at over 56 billion dollars. As asthma rates rise, including rates of severe asthma, that number is continuing to rise. There are an average of 10 deaths per day from asthma, including adults and children.  Not only is dying from an asthma exacerbation tragic and an experience very difficult to imagine, many times it’s also preventable. 

Here at the Modena Asthma Lab, we look to empower our patients with the knowledge and confidence to manage on their asthma on their own. We also look to harness the science of genomics, microbiomics, metabolomics and other ‘omic’ sciences to develop personalized medical treatments. We also want a cure.

Whether you are a patient, doctor, research specialist, or an individual or organization interested in participating in research and discovery, we would love to hear from you.

And, please use this site as a springboard for learning, dialog and connection, sharing of resources and getting involved on a deeper level. Until next time, thank you for visiting and I look forward to meeting you soon.

– Brian Modena, Founder


Let’s Talk.

Interested in becoming a patient or learning more about what we do?