CF Foundation Honors Four for Work on Hypertonic Saline

The recipients of this year's Richard C. Talamo Distinguished Clinical Achievement Award, presented at the 2014 North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, represent a successful collaboration between researchers and clinicians to bring about a significant advance in CF care and treatment. The award is one of the highest honors given by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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During the conference's second plenary, four individuals from the United States and Australia were recognized for their important roles in the development and improvement of hypertonic saline as a vital therapy to help people with CF keep their lungs healthy.

Christopher M. Penland presents the Richard C. Talamo Distinguished Clinical Achievement Award to Peter T. P. Bye and Scott H. Donaldson, two of the four recipients of the 2014 award.
Christopher M. Penland, left, presents the Richard C. Talamo Distinguished Clinical Achievement Award to Peter T. P. Bye and Scott H. Donaldson, two of the four recipients of the 2014 award.

Inhaling the salty solution has a powerful effect on rehydrating the lining of the lungs of people with CF, allowing them to more easily cough up bacteria-contaminated mucus.

The therapeutic benefits of hypertonic saline were originally recognized in the 1970s. This therapy was further developed over subsequent years by a number of investigative teams and is now a staple in the daily CF treatment regimen.

The 2014 Talamo Award recipients are:

  • Mark R. Elkins, Ph.D., senior research physiotherapist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney
  • Peter T. P. Bye, M.D., clinical professor at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney
  • William D. Bennett, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Scott H. Donaldson, M.D., associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“The work of these four dedicated individuals has led to a relatively inexpensive approach to airway clearance for all people with CF, at all ages and stages of the disease,” said Christopher M. Penland, Ph.D., vice president of research at the CF Foundation, who presented the award. “Their research has changed the way we treat cystic fibrosis and helped improve the quality of life for all with the disease.”

Created in memory of Richard C. Talamo, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University and later chairman of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, the award recognizes individuals who have spent their careers researching and caring for people with CF and whose contributions have made a significant difference in the lives of people with CF.

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