Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Expands Research Into Devastating Lung Disease


For Immediate Release

Contact: Dorothy Coyle, 773-332-6201

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Expands Research Into Devastating Lung Disease

CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 2022 – The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), the nation’s leading pulmonary fibrosis research, advocacy, and education organization, has announced an increase in funding for its PFF Scholars program. PFF Scholars are early-stage investigators whose research may lead to improved outcomes for individuals living with pulmonary fibrosis (PF). 

The 2023 class of PFF Scholars will each receive a $100,000 research grant over a two-year period, an increase of $25,000 per scholar. Letters of Intent (LOI) for next year’s class are due November 30, 2022, at 5 p.m. ET. All LOIs must be submitted through the online platform, ProposalCentral.

“Our PFF Scholars will be tomorrow’s leaders in the field of pulmonary fibrosis research,” said Bill Schmidt, President and CEO of the PFF. “We are pleased to increase our support of their vital research that will shed light on some of the most pressing questions we have about PF.”  Expansion of the program has been made possible by private donations to the PFF. 

More than 250,000 Americans are living with pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease. These disorders are characterized by varied amounts of inflammation and/or scarring that damage the ability of the lung to transfer oxygen into the blood. As the scarring worsens it leads to shortness of breath with daily activities and may result in death.

The PFF Scholars program is designed to help talented researchers obtain independent funding to continue their studies. The PFF aims to support projects that offer a high likelihood of improving the understanding of pulmonary fibrosis in the following areas:

  • Basic Science
  • Translational Research
  • Clinical Research
  • Epidemiological Research
  • Health Services Research’

The Class of 2022 PFF Scholars and their research topics include –

  • Alison DeDent, MD, University of California San Francisco: Development of a Telehealth Intervention Targeting Barriers to Early Guideline-Concordant Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Care for Rural Populations
  • Genta Ishikawa, MD, MPH, Yale University: Neuro-innate Interactions in Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Luis Rodriguez, PhD, University of Pennsylvania: Metabolic Dysfunction and Epigenetic Reprogramming in Distal Alveolar Epithelial Progenitor Cell Function and IPF
  • Cathryn Lee, MD, MS, University of Chicago: Identifying the Impact of Workplace Exposures on Quality of Life, Lung Function, and Survival Across Interstitial Lung Disease

Recent PFF scholars have received additional funding for their studies and have published their PF research in journals such as the ATS Journal, Cell Reports and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Gillian Goobie (PFF Scholar Class of 2020), University of Pittsburgh, studies the role that air pollution plays in the development and progression of interstitial lung diseases. Her paper, Association of Particulate Matter Exposure With Lung Function and Mortality Among Patients With Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Disease, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine on Oct. 17, 2022.

Dr. Jeremy Katzen (PFF Scholar Class of 2019), University of Pennsylvania, received a National Institutes of Health K08 award. Dr. Katzen’s research focuses on understanding the impairment process of alveolar type-2 (AT2) cells, which are important cellular components of normal lung function and repair, and how that may contribute to the initiation and progression of lung fibrosis


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 three-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 Platinum Seal of Transparency. For more information, visit or call 844.TalkPFF (844.825.5733).