President's Message

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New Directions for the ATS Foundation

Dr. Polly Parsons

As research support from the National Institutes of Health has declined, researchers in the respiratory community are finding it harder to secure support,  especially those earlier in their careers. The ATS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American Thoracic Society established in 2004, works to combat this issue. The Foundation invests in talented investigators from around the world, launching careers dedicated to scientific discovery and better patient care. Since its inception, the ATS Foundation Research Program has awarded $17.6 million to 235 investigators who have gone on to later secure $268 million in federal funding.

As you saw in the Staff Spotlight video in last month’s ATS News, the work done by the ATS Foundation not only contributes to research now but does so while looking toward the future and the next generation of researchers.  And from a new website, which we anticipate launching this month, to an increased focus on partnerships, there’s a lot to look forward to from the Foundation in 2019!

Designed with user experience in mind, the updated ATS Foundation website seeks to be engaging and accessible to ATS members in addition to a wider audience of patients and caregivers alike. We have aimed to make the website as intuitive as possible for any visitors who’d like to donate, partner with us, or share their stories of receiving a research grant. We are looking forward to welcoming new visitors, and sharing stories of patients and researchers, as well as highlighting the successes of our researchers. As we continue to grow, the website will showcase our work and make it simple for supporters to help us make an impact.

The ATS Foundation Research Program Benefit will have some updates as well! This year, the benefit will take place at the historic Union Station in Downtown Dallas during ATS 2019. Guests will enjoy delicious food catered by Wolfgang Puck Catering and open seating to facilitate networking and conversation. There will also be live music! As always, attendees will also have the opportunity to celebrate the Breathing for Life Awardee, this year, Sharon Rounds, MD, for her many accomplishments in the field of respiratory medicine.

Another key priority for the Foundation this year will be the development and maintenance of strong partnerships. The Foundation partners with individuals, industry, and non-profit organizations, pooling resources to maximize the number of high-impact projects that can be funded.

Support the ATS Foundation today, and be on the lookout for our announcement of the 2018-2019 ATS Foundation Research Program Awardees!