Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s PFF Summit 2023 Advances Research, Urges Clinical Trial Participation To Accelerate New Therapies

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s PFF Summit 2023, the world’s largest pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and interstitial lung disease (ILD) conference, concluded its seventh biennial meeting on Nov. 11 in Orlando, Fla. Physicians and specialists from around the globe converged to share cutting-edge research, innovative treatment modalities, and real-world clinical experiences in combating PF and ILD. The conference, which took place Nov. 9-11, returned to its in-person format for the first time since 2019.

Over three days, the PFF Summit brought together more than 800 healthcare experts, physicians, researchers, patients, caregivers, and industry leaders from 43 states and 16 countries in an exchange of knowledge, experiences, and insights on PF research and care.

“In an atmosphere of collaboration and shared purpose, the PFF Summit 2023 provided an unparalleled opportunity for medical professionals and patients to engage in impactful discussions, exploring the latest advancements and strategies in managing and treating PF and ILD,” said Dr. Franck Rahaghi, President, CEO and Chief Medical Officer for the PFF. “Together, we are making progress in our mission to find a cure for these devastating diseases.”

The PFF Summit 2023 plenary sessions, featuring Dr. Banu Karimi-Shah, Deputy Director of the Division of Pulmonology, Allergy and Critical Care in the Office of New Drugs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. D. Clark Files, pulmonary and critical care trained physician-scientist from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, addressed regulatory considerations in PF drug development and the vital role of adaptive clinical trials in the search for a cure. Dr. Karimi-Shah highlighted key safety considerations for PF programs and the importance of the patient experience, while Dr. Files shared his experience as a co-principal investigator in an adaptive clinical trial conducted in critically ill COVID-19 patients.

Hot topics at the conference included sessions on precision medicine, genetics, and supplemental oxygen. Susan Jacobs, RN, MS, Research Nurse Manager at Stanford Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, updated attendees on oxygen reform legislation that is projected as an outcome of a coordinated advocacy effort involving patients, advocacy groups and healthcare professionals.  

Healthcare professionals were offered continuing medical Education and Maintenance of Certification accreditation through multidisciplinary and roundtable discussions. Launching the PFF Summit on Thursday, the community pulmonologists and ILD fellows program featured robust content in a full-day session, and a half-day session was organized for nurses and allied healthcare professionals.

During the Summit’s scientific poster presentation, a panel from the PFF’s Research Review Committee selected the top five academic poster awardees. The top three presented summaries of their research during a research session on Saturday morning. The award winners included:

  • First place: $2,000 + travel award –  Ksenija Bernau, PhD, MS, of the University of Wisconsin Madison, who presented “Cu-64-PEG-FUD for non-invasive detection of murine-induced pulmonary fibrosis”
  • Second place: $1,500 + travel award – Chao He, MD, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham who presented “Extracellular matrix mechanosignaling regulates macrophage immunometabolism in pulmonary fibrosis”
  • Third place: $1,000 + travel award ­– David Zhang, MD, of Columbia University of New York who presented “Clinical telomere length testing for interstitial lung disease: Diagnostic utility and impact on clinical management”
  • Honorable mentions: travel awards – Margaret Thomas Freeberg, PhD, MS, of Virginia Commonwealth University who presented “Piezo2 is an important mechano-receptor in pulmonary fibrosis” and Margaret Louise Salisbury, MD, MS, of Vanderbilt University who presented “Environmental exposures are associated with increased risk of progressive preclinical familial pulmonary fibrosis”

The PFF Summit 2023 was made possible by the generous support of Boehringer Ingelheim, the Hales Family Foundation, and other individual and corporate donors. Recordings from the PFF Summit 2023 will be available on-demand on our YouTube channel in the spring of 2024.

The next PFF Summit will be held at the Sheraton Grande Chicago Riverwalk in November 2025. Registration will open in the spring of 2025.

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