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Coalition For Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) And American Thoracic Society Award $100,000 Pulmonary Fibrosis Grant To Johns Hopkins University Researcher  
1/22/2007 11:26:29 AM

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) today announced a jointly funded $100,000, two-year research grant with the American Thoracic Society (ATS), one of the world's leading professional organizations for pulmonary, critical care and sleep physicians. The grant will go to help find the causes of pulmonary fibrosis, which may lead to treatments and a cure for the deadly disease that claims 40,000 lives each year.

The American Thoracic Society/Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis Partnership Research Award in Pulmonary Fibrosis was awarded to Sonye K. Danoff, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine of the School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, for research in pulmonary fibrosis. Entitled "VEGF: Marker or mediator of lung injury in pulmonary fibrosis?", Dr. Danoff's research project will test 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.

"It is truly an honor to have received this award," said Dr. Danoff. "My most heartfelt thanks go to CPF for supporting this research. Too little is known about pulmonary fibrosis -- a disease which kills far too many. The ATS/CPF research grant will give me the opportunity to explore how angiogenic factors contribute to the development of pulmonary fibrosis. My hope is that this understanding will translate into new therapeutic strategies for our patients."

The ATS/CPF grant was established in 2006 and was open to a U.S.-based investigators working on translational studies in pulmonary fibrosis. Dr. Danoff's project was chosen by the ATS Scientific Advisory Committee through a rigorous peer-review application process.

"We are pleased that we can partner with the ATS to advance important IPF- related research that will help us to better understand this devastating disease," said Marvin I. Schwartz, M.D., chairman of the CPF and the James C. Campbell Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. "Dr. Danoff's project may help to identify a critical marker that may play a role in the development of IPF."

"This award is incredibly important to uncovering novel insights into the mechanism of disease pathogenesis in pulmonary fibrosis," said Thomas R. Martin, M.D., past president of ATS and chair of the ATS Research Program. "Our partnership with the CPF allows us to fund new and emerging research that might not otherwise receive the funding it needs and the priority it deserves."

CPF and ATS intend to continue this important partnership by establishing a second $100,000, two-year grant in 2007 to advance pulmonary fibrosis research efforts in the United States. Details will be announced during the American Thoracic Society's annual meeting in San Francisco in May 2007.

About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

IPF 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 IPF, which is the most prevalent of a classification of lung disorders known as interstitial lung diseases (ILD's). There is currently no known cause or cure for IPF, nor is there an FDA-approved treatment. An estimated 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. IPF is difficult to diagnose, and an estimated two- thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis.

About the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis

The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), 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 pulmonary fibrosis; provides patients and families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope; serves as a voice for national advocacy of IPF issues; and works to improve awareness of IPF 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 U.S. With more than 10,000 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to advocating for those with pulmonary fibrosis. For more information please visit www.coalitionforpf.org or call (888) 222-8541.

About the American Thoracic Society

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) is a non-profit, international, professional and scientific society for respiratory, 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. In keeping with these goals, the American Thoracic Society interacts with both national and international organizations which have similar goals. For more information please visit www.thoracic.org.

Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis

CONTACT: Teresa Geiger of Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis, 888-222-8541,ext. 702, or tgeiger@coalitionforpf.org; or Brian Kell of American ThoracicSociety, +1-212-315-6442, or bkell@thoracic.org