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Researchers in lab of Ilona Jaspers, PhD, found that the common food additive cinnamaldehyde impaired cilia — the hair-like structures on lung cells crucial for proper respiratory function.

The New York Times featured research from the lab of Ilona Jaspers, PhD, professor of pediatrics and microbiology & immunology, on the effects of cinnamaldehyde, a chemical in popular e-cigarette flavors, and not just cinnamon-flavored liquids. The work was presented at the international conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego. Phillip Clapp, PhD, conducted this research as a graduate student in the Jaspers lab.

This work was also featured in greater depth at

Jaspers, who directs the toxicology program at the UNC School of Medicine, is the deputy director of the UNC Center for Environmental Medicine Asthma and Lung Biology.