Thursday, June 02, 2011

Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network exhibits at the American Thoracic Society International Conference

Candice and Crystal Sipe, and HPS Network Vice President Heather Kirkwood, attended the American Thoracic Society’s International Conference in Denver, Co. May 13 – 18 to help create greater awareness of HPS among lung doctors and researchers.

The trio manned a booth on the exhibit floor during the meeting and spoke to several hundred doctors and researchers from all over the world about HPS.

“I was amazed at how many doctors there were from so many different countries,” said Candice Sipe.

“We were particularly interested in speaking to the doctors from India,” added Candice Sipe, “They seemed interested in us since we were adopted from India.”

The trio also attended a patient event, called Breathing Better, the day before the international conference opened. At the patient event, Dr. Gochuico addressed a group of pulmonary fibrosis patients and explained to them why HPS research is important to the greater pulmonary fibrosis community. After she spoke, Kirkwood made an appeal to the pulmonary fibrosis community to keep an eye out for anyone who might have HPS.

The rest of the afternoon was spent learning about issues of interest to anyone affected by lung disease.

Kirkwood attended the ATS Foundation dinner and accepted a plaque on behalf of the HPS Network commemorating the research partnership between the organizations.

“The research grant is something everyone in the HPS Network can be proud of,” said Kirkwood, “It’s all of our members who are out there raising money that make it possible. Without their fundraising, we wouldn’t be able to take advantage of opportunities like this.”

Dr. Lisa Young, a former winner of the HPS Network/ATS Foundation grant, gave a presentation about HPS to pulmonary fibrosis researchers and also presented a poster about the mouse models used to study HPS.

Dr. Susan Guttentag was also at the meeting. She and her lab published a paper on their HPS research in the May issue of the American Thoracic Society’s journal, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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