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Winners of 2020 Respiratory Disease Forum Announced, 2021 Event Scheduled

Denver, CO —

National Jewish Health welcomed scientists from across the country to the 16th Annual Respiratory Disease Young Investigators’ Forum held October 8-10, 2020.

Young investigators Bhavika Kaul, MD, (left) and Dinah Foer, MD, earned first place awards for research abstracts presented at the 16th Annual Respiratory Disease Young Investigators’ Forum in October 2020.Young investigators Bhavika Kaul, MD, (left) and Dinah Foer, MD, earned first place awards for research abstracts presented at the 16th Annual Respiratory Disease Young Investigators’ Forum in October 2020.

Committed to growing young scientists to become leaders in the research and treatment of respiratory diseases, National Jewish Health hosted the forum in an online format through its Office of Professional Education. The activity was supported by an educational grant from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.

An expert panel selected 25 young investigators to participate based on review of abstracts in Basic Science or Clinical Research related to respiratory disease, which were submitted earlier this year. Junior faculty and physicians who were enrolled in a pediatric, pulmonary, allergy, or immunology fellowship program and conducting research in disease were eligible to participate.

Throughout the online forum, the young investigators presented their abstracts to a panel of expert faculty judges as their peers watched. The top three presenters in each category were selected to receive monetary awards to support their research at their institutions.

First place for Basic Science Research was awarded to Dinah Foer, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, who was recognized for her presentation, The Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Axis in Platelet-Mediated Airway Inflammation.  

First place in Clinical Research was awarded to Bhavika Kaul, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, CA, in Clinical Research for Epidemiology and Risk Factors Associated with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Among U.S. Veterans.

“The high caliber of the research presented at the forum was truly impressive,” said National Jewish Health Professor of Medicine Barry Make, MD, who served as program co-chair with University of Pittsburgh Professor of Medicine Janet Lee, MD. “All of these young researchers hold great promise for becoming leaders in research of respiratory disease.”

In addition to scientific presentations, the forum provided young investigators opportunities to network with faculty experts and peers conducting research in respiratory medicine. 

“The forum gave me an unparalleled opportunity to learn from talented colleagues nationwide at a similar career stage and to benefit from senior faculty expertise,” said Dr. Foer. “I came away from the three days feeling inspired by my peers, recommitted to my research goals, and supported by a larger network of physician‐scientists who are deeply devoted to science and to promoting each other's career development.”

“Receiving an award was truly an honor especially given the quality of science presented by colleagues,” said Dr. Kaul. “Opportunities like this, especially for those of us who are so early in our career, help validate our work. The award I received will be used for additional projects I am planning, several of which came directly from discussions during this conference!”

The other Basic Science Research winners were, second place, Aartik Sarma, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco; and third place, Jennifer Krall, MD, of Wake Forest University. The other Clinical Research winners were, second place, Stefanie Mason, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, and third place, Rebecca Arielle Israel, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital.

The 17th Annual Respiratory Disease Young Investigators’ Forum is scheduled for October 14 - 17, 2021, in Denver, CO. Young physician investigators in pulmonology, allergy and immunology, pediatric, and related programs interested in a career in research are encouraged to submit abstracts. More information on abstract submission deadline and other details of the 2021 forum, as well as this year’s winners, can be found at

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 125 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

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