The recently concluded Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF)’s third biennial scientific conference, Summit 2015: From Bench to Bedside, achieved a record attendance of over 700 people — from pulmonary fibrosis researchers, academics and healthcare specialists to industry front-runners and PF patients/caregivers — representing 18 countries. Attendees presented research and discussed new treatments in a collaborative setting with a special focus on improving education and raising awareness for PF, and pinpointing innovative strategies that may contribute to groundbreaking therapies or even cures for the disease.
PFF also announced receiving a $1 million unrestricted bequest to support its work from Daniel Rose, MD, PFF senior advisor and its immediate past CEO, and his wife, Ellen Pinson. Dr. Rose’s father and uncle founded the PFF in 1999.
“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, in a press release. “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.”
Among summit goals were the presentation of new PF research, discussion of state-of-the-art treatments and therapeutics, and a meeting of the newly formed Research Advisory Forum (RAF). RAF intends to promote joint PF investigation and scientific innovation by supporting a multidisciplinary team of related stakeholders, industry representatives, researchers, clinicians, and patients.
“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,” said Harold R. Collard, MD, chair of Summit 2015 and the RAF. “We hope that the RAF will be valuable in shaping the future of PF research.”
The summit also accepted a record-setting 64 abstracts for the poster presentations. The top five poster winners were:
- Robert Guzy, Washington University School of Medicine, “Fibroblast-Specific FGF Signaling in Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis”
- Justin Oldham, 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, University of Arizona, “Impaired Myofibroblast Dedifferentiation Contributes to Non-Resolving Fibrosis in Aging”
- Renea Jabolonski, Northwestern UniversityFeinberg School of Medicine, “SIRT3, the Anti-Aging Major Mitochondrial Deacetylase, is Important for Preventing Pulmonary fibrosis”
The summit, held Nov. 12–14 in Washington, D.C., also included a meeting of the PFF Care Center Network, where participants discussed the network’s expansion from 21 to 40 sites, and reviewed the enrollment procedure for the PFF Patient Registry, expected to start receiving patients in early 2016. The network consists of medical centers with experience and expertise in treating patients with fibrotic lung disease.