Day 1 of the meeting was as inspiring as usual.

The Porter Fellow Reunion Reception took place this evening. This 50 year-old program is designed to support trainees as they conduct research projects in physiology and learn to become independent researchers. It was amazing to see so many past and present fellows and to hear about their accomplishments since receiving the award.

Following the Porter reception, I moseyed on over to the Walter B. Cannon memorial lecture. This year’s recipient of the award is Dr. Michael Welsh from the University of Iowa. His lab focuses on the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis and the development of therapies for this devastating disease. Globally, cystic fibrosis affects more than 70,000 people. It is a disease caused by a faulty gene. So, instead of producing watery mucus, sweat or digestive juices, people with cystic fibrosis develop thick, sticky mucus that can block tubes and airways in the body leading to many of the complications shown below.

Blausen 0286 CysticFibrosis.png

Image from Blausen.com staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436.