Baseball Legend, Country Singer to Join Renowned Scientists at Pulmonary Fibrosis Summit

Baseball Legend, Country Singer to Join Renowned Scientists at Pulmonary Fibrosis Summit

A New York Yankees legend and a country music singer will join renowned scientists in speaking at the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s international PFF Summit 2017 in Nashville, Nov. 9-11.

Top physicians and researchers will discuss the latest developments on the causes and mechanisms of the life-threatening disease at the event.

Scientists have yet to come up with a cure for pulmonary fibrosis, which affects about 200,000 Americans and causes more than 40,000 deaths annually. Each year 50,000 new cases are diagnosed.

“The PFF Summit is patient-centric, and presenters will address the individuality of pulmonary fibrosis and its progression,” Bill Schmidt, the foundation’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “We will announce clinical trials in the pipeline for pulmonary fibrosis and potential therapies moving forward.”

Bernie Williams, who played on four World Series championship teams with the Yankees, will speak about his father, who died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

James Kiley of the National Health, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will deliver a keynote speech to kick off a panel discussion on the genetics of PF and personalized treatment for the disease. The address will be titled “NHLBI Support for Personalized Therapy in Lung Disease.”

The panel will consist of physicians and patients whose disease runs in the family. They will discuss environmental as well as genetic factors associated with pulmonary fibrosis, or PF.

Country singer Billy Kirsch and two of his music-label colleagues will join patients and caregivers in writing a song about pulmonary fibrosis. Kirsch records with Kidbilly Music. The two colleagues who will join him are Kidbilly’s Victoria Banks and Rusty Tabor.

Dr. Gordon Bernard of Vanderbilt University will deliver a keynote address on maximizing the benefits of PF therapies that are already available. It will be titled “Re-thinking Clinical Trials in IPF.

Bernard is a professor of medicine, executive vice president for research, and director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

The topics that participants at the conference will discuss will range from stem cell therapies, to medical tourism, to advances in imaging.

Several panel sessions will be devoted to patients and their family members. Topics they will discuss include those newly diagnosed with the disease, those who have been living with PF or have received a lung transplant, and those who have lost a loved one to the disease.

The summit will offer a three-day Continuing Medical Education and Continuing Education program for healthcare professionals who want to learn more about the genetics and environmental influences of IPF. The sessions will also cover diagnosing the disease and the drugs that are available to treat it.

The Continuing Medical Education activities are a joint venture of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and the Englewood, Colorado-based Postgraduate Institute for Medicine, in collaboration with the Global Academy for Medical Education.

For more information and to register for PFF Summit 2017, please visit

One comment

  1. It is very exciting to read of the upcoming Conference that is being held to further discuss IPF. The news that there is a new trial being planned is also exciting. Looking forward to hearing of the commentaries and some of the speeches, if they are broadcast over the website. Thank you for your uplifting news and especially about the Clinical Trial being planned.
    Keep up the great work.

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