The 14th of November 2015 marked the Third Biennial Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) Summit 2015: From Bench to Bedside, which was held in Washington D.C.
According to a press release, more than 700 researchers, healthcare professionals, pulmonary fibrosis patients, caregivers, and industry leaders from 18 different countries attended the international scientific conference. It was a record number for the PFF organization and was further celebrated by the announcement of a $1 million no-restrictions donation to support the PFF. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation was founded in 1999 and is now led by the founder’s nephew Daniel M. Rose, MD, as well as PFF senior advisor and former CEO Ellen M. Pinson, who is also Dr. Rose’s wife.
The PFF Summit 2015 featured a collaborative environment focused on improving education and awareness of pulmonary fibrosis (PF) condition and identifying new approaches that may lead to innovative treatments, or eventually cures for this disease.
“On behalf of the PFF, I’d like to thank the terrific faculty, keynote speakers and poster presenters from around the world. Their contributions provided rich knowledge and inspired thoughtful interaction among all attendees,” said Patti Tuomey, president and CEO of the PFF. “The PFF Summit provides a unique forum to facilitate discussion among a broad group of people who are engaged within the PF community and share the PFF’s vision of one day imagining a world without pulmonary fibrosis.”
One of the PFF Summit 2015’s goals was to offer a unique opportunity to present and disseminate new PF research, as well as discuss state-of-the-art treatments as part of a meeting of the recent PFF Research Advisory Forum (RAF). One of the RAF’s goals is to promote collaborative PF research and scientific discovery. To accomplish this, the RAF supports a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders, clinicians, researchers, patients and industry representatives. A list of all members will be published on the PFF website shortly.
“The RAF provides a unique forum to facilitate discussion among a broad group of thought leaders, some of whom do not typically have the opportunity to engage in discussions around the advancement of research in PF,” explained Harold R. Collard, MD, chair of the PFF Summit 2015 and RAF. “We hope that the RAF will be valuable in shaping the future of PF research.”
In addition to drawing record attendance overall, the PFF Summit accepted a record number of abstracts for the poster presentation. The winners were able to present their research during Summit and also received monetary awards. Of the 64 posters eligible for awards, the following were the top five winners:
- Robert Guzy, Washington University School of Medicine, “Fibroblast-Specific FGF Signaling in Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis”
- Justin Oldham, the University of Chicago, “TOLLIP, MUC5B and the Response to N-acetylcysteine Among Individuals with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis”
- Rachel Scheraga, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, “The Mechanosensitive Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) Ion Channel Mediates the Pro-resolution/Anti-fibrotic Macrophage Response to Endotoxin (LPS)”
- Louise Hecker, the University of Arizona, “Impaired Myofibroblast Dedifferentiation Contributes to Non-Resolving Fibrosis in Aging”
- Renea Jabolonski, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, “SIRT3, the Anti-Aging Major Mitochondrial Deacetylase, is Important for Preventing Pulmonary fibrosis”
The Summit also hosted the PFF Care Center Network meeting to discuss the expansion from 21 sites to 40 as well as review the enrollment process for the PFF Patient Registry, which is expected to enroll patients in early 2016.