CHICAGO, June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 600 people with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency – the most common known genetic cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – along with their family members, caregivers and supporters will attend the 26th Alpha-1 National Education Conference in Chicago June 23-25.
Conference participants will hear some of the world's leading experts discuss the lung and liver aspects of Alpha-1, as well as progress in research and treatment. The theme for this year's conference is: "Mission. Inspiration. Determination. Innovation."
During the conference, the Foundation will celebrate the contributions of the Alpha-1 community and pay special tribute to Foundation co-founder John W. Walsh, who passed away in March after more than 20 years of exceptional leadership as the Foundation's president and CEO. In Walsh's honor, the Foundation launched The John W. Walsh Translational Research Award in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. The award, a $225,000 grant that will be disbursed over the course of three years to the institution of a deserving Alpha-1 researcher, is intended to carry on Walsh's commitment to finding a cure.
"The Alpha-1 National Education Conference is a wonderful opportunity for Alphas, doctors, researchers, caregivers, supporters and family members to come together, share and learn, and advance in our understanding of this disease. The Conference directly supports our mission to find a cure for Alpha-1 and improve the quality of life for Alphas worldwide,'' said Henry R. Moehring, president and CEO of the Alpha-1 Foundation.
James Kiley, PhD, director of the Division of Lung Diseases at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will deliver the keynote address at the conference. His speech will focus on the role of the NIH in the Alpha-1 community.
Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency can lead to lung disease in adults and liver disease at any age. Most people with Alpha-1 visit multiple doctors over several years before they are correctly diagnosed. Because Alpha-1 is genetic, it often causes lung or liver disease in several members of a family.
Portions of this year's National Education Conference, including the tribute dinner for Walsh, will be broadcast on Facebook Live through the Alpha-1 Foundation's Facebook page.
The conference will take place at Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel, 5300 N. River Road Rosemont, Illinois.
For more information and to view the conference agenda, click here.
About Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
At least 100,000 people in the United States have Alpha-1, but fewer than 10 percent have been properly diagnosed, even though the condition can be detected by a simple blood test. Anyone with a family history of lung or liver disease, or diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or chronic or unexplained liver disease should be tested. Alpha-1 is the most common known genetic cause of emphysema and is often called "genetic COPD."
About the Foundation
The Alpha-1 Foundation is committed to finding a cure for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and to improving the lives of people affected by Alpha-1 worldwide. The Foundation has invested more than $65 million to support Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency research and programs at 106 institutions in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
For more information, see www.alpha1.org.
Contact: Bob Campbell
305-567-9888 ext. 230
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SOURCE Alpha-1 Foundation