Boehringer IngelheimThe European Respiratory Society (ERS) has announced that Dr Esther Barreiro, Municipal Institute of Medical Investigation/Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain is this year's winner 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 member active in pulmonology research and has been awarded for the eighth time this year. It is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and consists of one sponsorship totalling 50,000 Euros to be used for scientific research projects in the field of COPD.

This year, the prize of 50,000 Euros goes to Esther Barreiro for her study of the specific role of oxidative stress in the respiratory and peripheral muscle dysfunction of COPD patients. Her research of these pathophysiological mechanisms provides the basis for future therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring muscle mass and function. Elucidation of the precise mechanisms will improve the quality of life and survival of COPD patients whereby oxidants modulate muscle proteolysis and apoptosis in the COPD muscle dysfunction appears to be of viral importance given its potential therapeutic implications in these patients.

Dr Barreiro obtained her MD degree at Universitat de Barcelona and became specialized in Respiratory Medicine after finishing the official Spanish residency training period. She began her research career in 1997 at IMIM-Hospital del Mar in Barcelona. She received her Master of Science degree from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and one year later her PhD degree at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. In October 2001, she joined the IMIM-Hospital del Mar with the aim of investigating the specific roles played by oxidative stress and inflammation in the muscle dysfunction of patients with COPD. In 2004, she also became an Associate Professor of the Experimental Sciences and Health Department at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

"The ERS is delighted to receive so many applications at such a high standard this year and wishes to thank all applicants for their contributions. In particular, we congratulate Esther Barreiro for her excellent work and extend our thanks to Boehringer Ingelheim, a leader in the research and treatment of COPD, for making this award possible," said Leonardo Fabbri, ERS President. "I would also like to take this opportunity to invite members to submit entries for next year's award."

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, The deadline for applications is 26 February 2009. Selection of the successful candidates will be made by the Scientific Committee of the ERS.

The European Respiratory Society
Founded in 1990, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) is a not-for-profit, international medical organisation with almost 9,000 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.

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 135 affiliates in 47 countries and 39,800 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 2007, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 10.9 billion euro while spending one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.