PFF Summit 2021 Achieves Record Attendance, Expands New Therapies, Research and Clinical Trials


Contact: Claire Vartabedian
L.C. Williams & Associates

PFF Summit 2021 Achieves Record Attendance, Expands New Therapies, Research and Clinical Trials

Registration still open to access on-demand sessions on MedscapeLIVE!

(CHICAGO) Dec. 7, 2021 – Physicians and researchers presented the latest scientific developments into pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and interstitial lung disease (ILD), educating more than 1,100 patients, caregivers, health care providers, researchers, and industry professionals at the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s (PFF) all-virtual sixth biennial healthcare conference, PFF Summit 2021. While the live event concluded on Nov. 13, registration is still open at to view all Summit sessions on-demand through Feb. 20, 2022, exclusively through the online platform MedscapeLIVE!

The record attendance of more than 1,100 participants at the PFF Summit 2021 reflected a 22 percent increase over PFF Summit 2019 attendance. The PFF Summit 2021 spanned six days of engaging live programming. Members of the PF community from 47 states and 21 countries attended sessions on topics ranging from integrative therapies and familial PF to precision medicine. The Summit also included a fireside chat with the PFF medical team that gave patients and caregivers the opportunity to ask wide-reaching questions.

“Developed with both providers and patients in mind, our record-breaking PFF Summit 2021 united patients, researchers, and physicians on our shared goals of driving awareness, improving quality of care and support, and accelerating the development of new therapies and cures,” said William T. Schmidt, President and CEO of the PFF. “With more than 250,000 Americans living with PF and ILD, educating the public on the disease and building a sense of community for those affected by it is more important than ever.”

The PFF Summit 2021 plenary sessions explored updates on PF research and quality of life for patients, featuring keynote speakers Kathleen O. Lindell, PhD, RN, Mary Swain Endowed Chair in Palliative Care Health at the Medical University of South Carolina, and Gary Gibbons, MD, Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Lindell presented on the guiding principle of palliative care with a focus on the caregiver, while Dr. Gibbons addressed the critical importance of PF research and moving care forward.

“NHLBI is steadfastly committed to understanding idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and enhancing quality of life for those living with this disease,” said Dr. Gibbons. “We continue to support research that seeks to uncover new therapeutic targets and drugs that can be used to predict, pre-empt, reverse, and slow the progression of this disease.”

PFF Research Continues to Expand
During the Summit’s scientific poster presentation, the top five academic poster awardees, selected by a panel from the PFF’s Research Review Committee, presented summaries of their research. The award winners included:

  • First place – Jason Gokey, PhD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who presented a summary of his winning poster on alveolar epithelial cell differentiation
  • Second place – Luis Rodriguez, PhD, of Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, who presented on preclinical intervention studies to benchmark IPF therapeutics
  • Third place – Yi Yao, PhD, of the Henry Ford Health System, who presented on the impact of the loss of microRNAs in alveolar macrophages and a reduction in bleomycin-induced PF
  • Honorable mentions – Margaret Thomas Freeberg, PhD, of Virginia Commonwealth University, who presented on metabolic reprogramming in human lung fibroblasts; and Bhavika Kaul, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, who presented on the association of Agent Orange exposure with subsequent development of IPF among U.S. veterans

The PFF Scholars session included presentations of novel projects by three PFF-funded early career investigators on their emerging research in the field of PF, including:

  • Gillian Goobie, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh, who highlighted the association of air pollution and ILD
  • Bridget Graney, MD, of the University of Colorado, who spoke about the value of using PFF Registry™ data to research caregiver burden
  • Avraham Unterman, MD, of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, who discussed studying blood cells from patients with autoimmune-ILD and IPF to help newly diagnosed patients avoid lung biopsies

The popular Clinical Trials Innovation (CTI) Series included presentations on the latest developments in potential PF treatments from nine companies. These sessions are available for viewing exclusively via the MedscapeLIVE! platform through Feb. 20, 2022.

In addition, the community pulmonologists and ILD fellows program featured robust content in two half-day sessions, as did two half-day sessions designed for nurses and allied healthcare professionals.

“We are thrilled that the virtual format of PFF Summit 2021 allowed participation by more patients than ever before, and also gives others the opportunity to participate on-demand until Feb. 20,” concluded Schmidt.

The PFF Summit 2021 was sponsored in part by Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA, FibroGen Inc., Galecto Biotech APS, Genentech, Horizon Therapeutics, Pliant Therapeutics, Three Lakes Foundation, and United Therapeutics. To register and access the on-demand Summit sessions through Feb. 20, 2022, please visit

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About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

The mission of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is to accelerate the development of new treatments and ultimately a cure for pulmonary fibrosis. Until this goal is achieved, the PFF is committed to advancing improved care of patients with PF and providing unequaled support and education resources for patients, caregivers, family members, and health care providers. The PFF has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and is an accredited charity by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance. The Foundation has met all of the requirements of the National Health Council Standards of Excellence Certification Program® and has earned the Guidestar Gold Seal of Transparency. For more information, visit or call 844.TalkPFF (844.825.5733) or 312.587.9272 from outside the U.S.