Finlay Carson has met with the Border and Regions Airways Training Hub in Parliament.
The project will develop cross-border research to better understand and alleviate the impact of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
BREATH is a group of leading researchers from the University of the West of Scotland, Queen’s University Belfast, and Dundalk Institute of Technology, who will share their knowledge and skills to train the best young scientists to find new and better treatments for COPD.
BREATH will also engage with local communities to raise awareness about COPD, to help prevent the disease and promote proper diagnosis and treatment.
School visits and outreach activities will communicate the dangers of smoking to vulnerable groups.
COPD is an incurable and slowly progressive lung condition that causes breathing difficulties and irreversible lung damage.
Often unrecognised and undiagnosed, COPD is sometimes called the ‘invisible’ lung disease, yet it is the 3rd leading cause of death world-wide.
The South West of Scotland has one of the highest rates of COPD in the world, with one in eight emergency admissions to hospital is for COPD, making it the second largest cause of emergency admission in the United Kingdom.
Commenting, Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson said:
“I thank the BREATH project for accepting my invitation to visit the Scottish Parliament.
“The meeting was both constructive and interesting – there is a lot of potential in this project and it has a promising future.
“The opportunity for the south west of Scotland to secure the status of the world’s leading research hub for COPD would bring both economic and scientific opportunities to the region.
“It is important that we find the answers to why COPD is so prominent in the south west and also work towards preventing the disease.
“I will continue to work closely with the BREATH project and promote it both within Parliament and around Galloway and West Dumfries."