Thursday 13 June 2013

The European Cystic Fibrosis Society Conference: Day 1

Janet Allen, Director of Research at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discovers the incredible opportunities the ECFS conference creates for networking and sharing ideas and knowledge with colleagues from around the world.

I am attending my first ECFS meeting here in Lisbon. There are many presentations studying the protein CFTR which harbours the mutations that lead to cystic fibrosis. The rate of scientific progress is impressive. We are learning so much about how the mutations affect CFTR function and how drugs such as Kalydeco and VX809 help restore function. The more we understand CFTR the better chance we have of finding new treatments that tackle the basic defect in people with cystic fibrosis.

These meetings are valuable not only for hearing of the latest science but also a wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues across the world. Yesterday, we had very valuable discussions with the leaders of other cystic fibrosis organisations, including the CF Foundation (USA), CF Canada, CF Europe and many other countries. These meetings are useful to understand what is happening across the world and identify areas where we can better work together.

Today, we are holding a "fringe" meeting where we will present the research strategy that was launched by the Trust at the end of April. This is an opportunity to provide more details for our research call and also to engage with researchers around the world.

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