- air quality, asthma, chronic disease, clinical trial, community health, genetics, global health, imaging, socioeconomic status
Dr. Castro is using his background in research and public health to tackle the problem of respiratory disease from two angles. He is involved in a number of community-based efforts in St. Louis to improve delivery of asthma care and to boost awareness of smoking health effects and respiratory diseases.
Dr. Castro is working on a number of research projects. One involves following children from very early in life and looking at how their genetic, biologic and immune responses, as well as their environment are coming together to cause some of them to develop asthma. Another project studies what causes asthma through the NIH Asthma and Allergic Disease Clinical Research Center (AADCRC) grant, and also investigates what makes severe asthma different from milder forms (Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP)).
On an international level, Dr. Castro has led a volunteer medical mission, The Pulmonary & Allergy Brigade, for the last 15 years. This volunteer mission is the only medical team available to the people in this region of Honduras suffering from respiratory or allergy conditions. He also helped establish a new hospital in Catacamas, Honduras called Hospital Hermano Pedro. This hospital helps provide specialty health care to a region of the country that would not receive it otherwise. In addition, Dr. Castro works with the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and School of Engineering & Applied Science in the Sustaining Stove Technologies to Advance Respiratory Health (STAR) study in India. This project aims to evaluate if an improved cooking stove improves the health, especially respiratory, of women and children affected by biomass combustion.