ERS COPD Research Awards 2007 Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer IngelheimThe European Respiratory Society (ERS) is pleased to announce that Dr Morten Dahl, Herlev University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark and Simonetta Baraldo, Padova, Italy, are this year's winners of the Society's annual award for research in the field of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The ERS COPD Research Award recognises the work of young European ERS members active in pulmonology research and has been awarded for the seventh time this year. It is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and consists of two sponsorships totalling 50,000 Euros to be used for scientific research projects in the field of COPD.

This year, the first prize of 30,000 Euros goes to Morten Dahl for his assessment of risk for COPD in individuals with increased systemic inflammation and less severe alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. His research may aid the identification of new biomarkers for COPD and asthma. In his recent research Dr Dahl tested whether increased concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) predict future risk of hospitalization and death from COPD in individuals with airway obstruction. The study showed that serum CRP is a strong predictor of future COPD in individuals with airway obstruction.

Dr Dahl completed an MD and a consecutive PhD at the Copenhagen University in Denmark. After an internship at Herlev University Hospital, he received a competitive fellowship from the Danish Medical Research Council that allowed him to join Harvard Medical School, Brigham and the Women's Hospital in Boston as a research fellow.

The second prize of 20,000 Euros was awarded to Simonetta Baraldo for her investigation into the link between excessive inflammatory response and functional abnormalities in asthma and COPD. She is the first author of several recent publications in the area of inflammatory cells in inducing parenchymal destruction and small airway remodelling in COPD. Her most recent work is focussed on the expression of metalloproteinases in patients with COPD at different stages of disease severity to evaluate their role in the clinical progression of the disease.

"On behalf of the ERS I would like to congratulate Morten Dahl and Simonetta Baraldo on their outstanding work and their highly deserved awards," said William MacNee, ERS President. "We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all applicants for the high standard of work submitted. Thanks are also due to Boehringer Ingelheim, a leader in the research and treatment of COPD, for making this award possible," he added. "May I also take this opportunity to remind all our members that the ERS COPD Award is an ongoing initiative. The application for next year's award are open now and we look forward to many submissions from young researchers next year."

European members of the ERS up to age 45 are eligible to apply for the award. The official online application form can be found on the ERS website on www.ersnet.org/copd-award. The deadline for applications is February 21, 2008. Selection of the successful candidates will be made by the Scientific Committee of the ERS.

About The European Respiratory Society
Founded in 1990, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) is a not-for-profit, international medical organisation with more than 7,000 members - scientists, doctors and allied health professionals, coming from over 100 countries. The Society's mission is to alleviate suffering from respiratory disease and to promote lung health through research, knowledge sharing, medical and public education, and working with patient organisations. For more information, visit www.ersnet.org.

About Boehringer Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 137 affiliates in 47 countries and 38,400 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2006, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 10.6 billion euro while spending one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development. For more information, visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.com.

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