Newswise — Nov. 7, 2017 -- (New York, NY) – The ATS Foundation continues to support researchers committed to improving the lives of patients with respiratory disease. Today, the Foundation announces its new ATS Foundation/Boehringer Ingelheim Research Fellowship in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The fellowship will award $100,000 over two years.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis describes a group of lung diseases in which thickening of the walls of the alveoli, caused by scarring (fibrosis), can result in cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and low blood oxygen levels. The scarring also makes the lungs “stiff” and difficult to inflate, which means they hold less air than normal lungs. In many cases the cause of IPF is unknown.  IPF patient-advocate Sandra Rock of Northern California knows all too well the consequences of the disease after having lost approximately 10 support group members every year to a devastating disease.

“IPF is a devastating, progressive scarring lung disease for which there are few treatments and no cures,” said Eric White, MD, director of Translational Interstitial Lung Disease Research, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School.  “Currently available medications may slow the inexorable progression of disease, but cannot halt it. This research fellowship demonstrates an ongoing commitment by Boehringer Ingelheim and the ATS Foundation to support young investigators who will identify new treatments for our patients.” He added, “In a time when it is increasingly challenging to garner NIH support for biomedical research, this type of research award is vitally important to both researchers and patients alike.”

“We are proud to support ATS on this unique fellowship and continue our long-standing efforts to advance IPF research,” said Craig Conoscenti, MD, medical expert, interstitial lung disease, Respiratory Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “This fellowship builds on our 100-year heritage in respiratory disease and offers another opportunity for our company to continue to improve care for those living with this rare lung disease."

The fellowship application process is now open. The two-year funding period is December 2018 through November 2020. Applications will be reviewed for their scientific merit, innovation, feasibility, and relevance to IPF.

Learn more about the ATS Foundation/ Boehringer Ingelheim   Research Fellowship, and additional fellowship opportunities on our website.

About the ATS Foundation
Since 2004, the ATS Foundation Research Program has awarded more than $16 million to 210 investigators who have gone on to secure $215 million in federal funding. That’s a return on investment of $13 per dollar awarded. Without this “seed” support, these researchers may not have received their subsequent grants, advancing our understanding of diseases in pulmonary, critical care and sleep. You can learn more about our awardees here: