CF Research Successes Highlighted at Capitol Hill Event

October 17, 2012

Greenberg Capitol Hill

Mitch Greenberg of Gaithersburg, Md. tells Congressional staff about life with CF at a Capitol Hill event on October 16, 2012.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation yesterday joined with the American Thoracic Society, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the CHILD Foundation to sponsor an event on Capitol Hill, “Advances and Opportunities in Child Lung Health.” This standing room-only briefing for congressional staff featured a panel of experts in pediatric lung disease who highlighted the successes and challenges in research and drug development for cystic fibrosis (CF), respiratory distress syndrome and child interstitial lung disease.

Susan Shurin, M.D., deputy director of NHBLI, moderated the event and gave an overview of the discussed conditions. Stephanie D. Davis, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, spoke about the most recent advances in CF research, followed by Thomas Ferkol, M.D., professor of pediatrics, cell biology and physiology at the Washington University School of Medicine, who discussed neonatal lung diseases related to prematurity.

Following the panel of experts, Mitchell Greenberg of Gaithersburg, Md., shared his personal story about living with CF and the advances in the development of medications to treat the disease that have resulted in steadily rising life expectancy. Now 39 and a father of two, Greenberg spoke of people with CF he has known who have lost their battle, and emphasized the importance of funding for the National Institutes of Health and biomedical research, saying “research dollars do save lives.”

Co-sponsoring the event were the co-chairs of the Congressional Cystic Fibrosis Caucus, Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), Tom Marino (R-Penn.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.). This bipartisan group of members of Congress work to raise CF awareness, support CF research and increase access to quality care for those with the disease.