• Dear Friends,
  • I couldn't agree with you more. The impact of COPD has been sorely under-appreciated and research into COPD therapies have been under-funded. The efforts of PERF have been almost exclusively dedicated to COPD and I have felt honored to head PERF for the past few years. My own research has been focused on finding new therapies for COPD. All of the approximately 10 research projects of which I am principal investigator concern COPD.
  • I think that there is a distinction that we have not made clear that is causing some confusion. The Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center does not receive its major funding from PERF. How could it? The salary costs for the technical staff in the Center alone amount to several hundred thousand dollars a year. Expenses of this magnitude are far beyond PERF's ability to support. The funds to pay these costs come from grants we apply forÉ.for example, from the government, the Lung Association and from pharmaceutical companies. PERF has provided some seed money for some of the most important work that could not have been funded otherwise. In some cases, "pilot" studies funded by PERF have lead to much larger grants to investigate therapeutic strategies in COPD.
  • The Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center could not succeed without attracting other investigators. For some, COPD is a major focus, but others are interested in other chronic diseases. The research projects they have initiated have added to the breath of activities going on in the Center, and are helping to financially support the overall enterprise. There is a lot of cross-fertilization going one.progress in one area leads to progress in others. I view this as a highly positive step, but do not see it as diluting our focus on COPD.
  • I can assure you that your donations to PERF, which are greatly appreciated, are devoted to respiratory disease. I would like you to believe that the Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center has one of the most concentrated clinical research programs in COPD in the world.
  • (Signed) Richard Casaburi, PhD, MD
  • We think it is wonderful that you wrote to us and hope that anyone else who has any concerns about anything that we write will follow suit and also communicate with us by letter, by phone, or by e-mail. We like to know that you care, and that you are reading all this information that we try to put together for you! Thanks for letting us help clarify the confusion.

  • Mat in NYC asked if we could assist a relative in Sweden get help for his emphysema. Besides newsletters and booklets that we were able to provide, we contacted Margareta Emtner, PhD in Upsala, Sweden. (Margareta was a Fulbright Scholar who worked at Harbor-UCLA for a year doing research on exercise and oxygen. More on her exciting study later!) She gave us the name of a caring physician in the patient's hometown of Gothenberg. It's wonderful to have a network of friends around the world, for us, but also for you.

  • And speaking of friends in other parts of the world, Tetsuji Watanabe wrote to tell us that a very successful Lung Day Forum was held in Tokyo, Japan in November. The forum was sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Labor, the Japanese Pulmonary Society and the Yomiuri Newspaper Company. (This, he told us, is a daily newspaper with over a million readers, the largest in the world. I wish we could get that kind of publicity and support here in the States!) Film clips of talks given by Dr. Casaburi and Mary Burns started off their day. Dr. Kida, who has often visited us in Torrance, gave a speech about cessation of smoking, as well as referring to the high intensity exercise research being done at Harbor-UCLA by Dr. Casaburi.