Partners to Open Global Network Supporting PF Research

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by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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global PF network | Pulmonary Fibrosis News | partnership founded to aid patients

The Three Lakes Foundation is joining with the Lung Foundation Australia, the Centre of Research Excellence in Pulmonary Fibrosis (CRE-PF), and an Australian philanthropist to create a global network for pulmonary fibrosis (PF) research.

Together, they aim to raise disease awareness, and the resources and knowledge necessary to better diagnose PF and advance work on potential treatments.

“Our partnership is built on a shared belief about the urgent need for new therapies and approaches for interstitial lung diseases like PF,” Cheryl Nickerson-Nutter, PhD, vice president of research and development at the Three Lakes Foundation, a U.S. nonprofit PF advocacy and support group, said in a press release.

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“Together, we will be able to dramatically improve our understanding of the condition and also create a foundation for global collaboration with researchers, partners and patients,” Nickerson-Nutter added.

Three Lakes Foundation will contribute funding to both the Lung Foundation Australia and the CRE-PF to support ongoing research projects; the contribution’s value and the philanthropist’s identity were not released.

Opened in 2017 by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, CRE-PF runs a clinically focused program for fibrotic lung diseases, works to educate the public, and offers training to researchers in the PF field.

Joining forces “will enable us to fast-track PF research and bring access to therapies sooner,” said Tamera Corte, PhD, principal investigator and an associate professor with the CRE-PF.

According to Corte, the monetary support from Three Lakes will help finance six different CRE-PF projects into aspects of PF:

  • identifying the distinct subtypes of PF and their specific disease-promoting mechanisms, with the goal of developing more accurate diagnostic tools
  • testing the potential of artificial intelligence as a tool to help clinicians accurately predict the disease course upon diagnosis
  • evaluating whether the molecular signatures of PF seen in disease models accurately mimic those evident in patients with idiopathic (of unknown cause) PF, which would help predict therapy benefit
  • establishing a lung disease registry to recruit, track, and monitor thousands of patients
  • tracking how environmental exposures affect lung health
  • studying the impact of COVID-19 and the isolation due to lockdown measures on people with interstitial lung disease, including PF

Another partnership goal is to launch a global PF coalition.

“This … is the first step to establishing an international collaboration in the field of PF,” said Mark Brooke, CEO of the Lung Foundation of Australia.

“The pace of change in disease research is growing rapidly, thanks to new advances in drug development, artificial intelligence and unhindered communication. New discoveries transcend beyond borders and can only occur when there is a cross-pollination of ideas,” Brooke added.

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