CF Foundation Hosts Successful 23rd Annual North American CF Conference

October 21, 2009

More than 3,500 CF researchers and medical professionals from around the world gathered at the CF Foundation’s 23rd annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC) in Minneapolis, Minn., where they discussed progress and hope in the battle against cystic fibrosis.

Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who led the international effort to map the human genome and co-discovered the CF gene in 1989, kicked off the conference with a keynote address and wowed the audience by playing his guitar and singing a song he wrote about CF, “Dare to Dream.”

Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation, noted the tremendous impact of the CF gene discovery and the progress it has spurred in CF research. Beall told the crowd that the CF community is making headlines around the world for its efforts to treat the basic defect and for advancements in improving the quality of CF care.

In his keynote, Collins reminded the audience of the unique approach the CF Foundation has used to better the lives of people with cystic fibrosis and advance the search for a cure. He noted how the Foundation fosters extraordinary teamwork that unites experts from multiple disciplines, uses cutting-edge technology for drug discovery and formed a clinical trial network to speed the study of drug candidates through clinical trials and to the marketplace.

Many disease organizations, explained Collins, as well as the NIH are following in the Foundation’s footsteps.

Highlights from this year’s NACFC include:

  • The completion of a number of clinical trials of CF therapies, from pancreatic enzyme replacements and new antibiotic treatments to compounds that repair the basic genetic defect.
  • Information on new ways of using old methods to battle the symptoms of CF.
  • A focus on the increasing age of the CF population and the new strategies to focus on the care that adults with CF need.
  • Quality improvement and its effect on health outcomes.

Check back later this week for in-depth conference highlights and video interviews of leading CF researchers and physicians.

 Click Play to View photos highlighting NACFC 2009