CPF and PFF Commit to ATS to Fund Grants
CULVER CITY, Calif., Feb. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF), the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), and the American Thoracic Society (ATS), the world's leading professional organization for pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, today announced that the CPF and PFF will again partner with the ATS to fund Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) research.
"The CPF is dedicated to this important partnership with ATS and the PFF," said Marvin Schwarz, M.D. chairman of the CPF and the James C. Campbell Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. "As the CPF celebrates 10 years of work on behalf of the PF community, it reaffirms its commitment to supporting efforts to find answers to the disease. We will continue to fund critical research that will take us from a disease that is virtually untreatable to one that is curable."
"We are proud to have joined this partnership with the CPF and ATS in 2009, and are encouraged by the quality of research these grants have funded to date," said Daniel M. Rose, MD, President of the PFF.
"Given the urgent need for treatments and the very challenging nature of this disease, this expanded support for the ATS research grant program offers excellent hope for new findings that may lead to a better understanding of PF and earlier opportunities for the development of avenues for treatment," said Mishka Michon, CEO of the CPF.
The patient organizations will each commit $30,000 per year to co-fund two-year research grants for two consecutive years. The ATS will provide partial funding and management of the grants.
"Pulmonary fibrosis was once considered rare," said Jesse Roman, M.D., chair of the ATS Scientific Advisory Committee and chair of medicine at the University of Louisville. "We now know it's not. In fact, recent studies show that it is on the rise. And yet, there is no effective treatment. These research grants will help us change that."
Research in PF has been minimal historically compared with research into other diseases, including diseases that affect fewer Americans and that are not imminently deadly like PF. However, the joint effort between the ATS and the CPF for the Partnership Grant for Pulmonary Fibrosis was established in 2006. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation joined the partnership in 2009, committing funds to the effort through 2012.
"Even though my research started with this funding partnership, it didn't stop at the end of two years," said Andrew Tager, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, a recipient of an ATS/CPF grant award in 2008. "It established an important foundation on which to build ongoing research in the search for treatments and a cure."
Past CPF/ATS Partnership Awards, through 2008, were granted to:
- Sonye K. Danoff, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University: VEGF: Marker or mediator of lung injury in pulmonary fibrosis? Her research is currently testing the hypothesis that locally elevated levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the lungs of patients with autoimmune pulmonary fibrosis contribute to disease progression.
- Andrew Tager, M.D., assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division and at Massachusetts General Hospital. His study was: (LPA) and its Receptor LPA1. His study is investigating the role of Lysophosphatidic Acid (LPA) and its cognate receptor LPA1 in lung injury and fibroproliferation following bleomycin treatment.
- Harikrishna Tanjore, Ph.D., of the Center for Lung Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center: The study's purpose was to determine the extent to which epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) contributes to lung fibrosis and to investigate the role of TGFbeta in EMT in the lungs.
- Melissa Hunter Piper, Ph.D., of the Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute at Ohio State University who studied whether the loss of the expression of miR-17-92 (microRNA) cluster contributes to the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.
Grants Awarded by the CPF/PFF/ATS partnership beginning 2009 were:
- Steven Huang M.D., lecturer, University of Michigan Medical School: His study is The Regulation and Pattern of the DNA Methylome in Pulmonary Fibrosis. The study involves hypermethylation of DNA, an epigenetic process recognized to be important in many diseases though understudied in IPF and genes that may be hypermethylated, and to profile the DNA methylome of fibrotic lung fibroblasts. Also, his study addresses how prostaglandin E2, an antifibrotic lipid mediator, may be able to regulate DNA methylation machinery.
- Erica Herzog, M.D., Ph.D, of Yale University's Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine: His study is Semaphorin 7a and Alternative Macrophage Activation in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. The research seeks to determine the mechanism through which Semaphorin 7a promotes the appearance of M2s and collagen deposition in a mouse model of pulmonary fibrosis and to determine the mechanism through which Semaphorin 7a affects the differentiation and activation of M2s obtained from patients with IPF.
- Zhou, Beiyun Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, of the University of South California's Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care: The study is Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in alveolar Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The researcher is investigating the hypothesis that ER stress induces EMT in epithelial cells thereby contributing directly to fibrosis. Understanding the mechanisms whereby ER stress contributes directly to fibroblast accumulation in IPF should provide new insights into the causes of pulmonary fibrosis that may in turn offer novel therapeutic strategies for this otherwise fatal disease.
- Simonian, Philip M.D., assistant professor of pulmonary sciences & critical care –at the University of Colorado Denver: His study is Protection from Inflammation-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis by IL-22. The focus of the research is to determine the mechanism by which IL-22 protects against lung fibrosis so that better therapies can be developed that protect patients from the development of pulmonary fibrosis.
For investigators interested in applying for these PF grants, letter of intent grant applications must be submitted by March 15, 2011, at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. To view the call for applications on the ATS Web site, go to: http://thoracic.org/research/research-program-portfolio/grant-portfolio.php.
About the ATS/CPF/PFF PF Partnership grants:
The target audience for these research grants will be U.S.-based investigators interested in research that is relevant to pulmonary fibrosis. The focus of the research grants will be programs that have a high likelihood to advance the understanding of the disease. Applications are encouraged from new faculty members who have a strong link with one or more senior investigators. Applicants may request up to $40,000/year for two years to cover salaries and/or supplies. A primary goal of the ATS Foundation Research Program is to enable new faculty-level investigators to make the transition to careers as established investigators. Partnerships between junior and senior investigators are strongly encouraged, particularly for new investigators who are within 1 to 5 years of the completion of their training. One of the investigators must be an ATS member at the time of application, and the principal investigator must be an ATS member at the time that the grant is awarded. Indirect costs will not be paid to the sponsoring institution.
About Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF)
Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive scarring – known as fibrosis -- and deterioration of the lungs, which slowly robs its victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000 Americans suffer from PF, and there is currently no known cause or cure. An estimated 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. PF is difficult to diagnose and an estimated two-thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis. Sometimes PF can be linked to a particular cause, such as certain environmental exposures, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, residual infection, or autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis. However, in many instances, no known cause can be established. When this is the case, it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
About the CPF
The CPF is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a cure for pulmonary fibrosis (PF), while educating, supporting, and advocating for the community of patients, families, and medical professionals fighting this disease. The CPF funds promising research into new approaches to treat and cure PF; provides patients and families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope; serves as a voice for national advocacy of PF issues; and works to improve awareness of PF in the medical community as well as the general public. The CPF's nonprofit partners include many of the most respected medical centers and healthcare organizations in the United States. With more than 23,000 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the country dedicated to advocating for those with PF. For more information please visit www.coalitionforpf.org or call (888) 222-8541.
About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
The mission of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) is to find a cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) by funding research, advocating for pulmonary fibrosis issues, promoting disease awareness, and providing a compassionate environment for supporting patients and their loved ones. The PFF collaborates with physicians, organizations, patients, and caregivers worldwide. From December 1-3, 2011 the PFF will host the first international IPF Summit in Chicago. For more information visit www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org or call 888-733-6741
About the American Thoracic Society
The American Thoracic Society (ATS) is a non-profit, international, professional and scientific society for pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The ATS is committed globally to the prevention and treatment of respiratory disease through research, education, patient care and advocacy. The long-range goal of the ATS is to decrease morbidity and mortality from respiratory disorders and life- threatening acute illnesses in people of all ages. The American Thoracic Society Foundation's Research Program is one way the Society attempts to achieve this goal. For more information please visit www.thoracic.org.
SOURCE Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis; Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation