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Eighth Annual ATS Foundation Research Program Benefit

James Donohue and Sally Wenzel

Sally E. Wenzel, MD (right), receiving the
2016 Breathing for Life Award from
James F. Donohue, MD, ATS Foundation Chair

With an assortment of hors d’oeuvres, music, and dancing the ATS Foundation kicked off its Eighth Annual Research Program Benefit on Saturday, May 14, 2016. More than 650 attendees gathered at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis to recognize Sally E. Wenzel, MD, as the recipient of the 2016 Breathing for Life Award, as well as honor grant awardees, celebrate the ATS Foundation Research Program’s successes, and socialize with friends.

The Breathing for Life Award is given by the ATS Foundation to recognize philanthropy and scientific accomplishments. Dr. Wenzel, an internationally recognized expert in severe asthma, gives back to the pulmonary community through her expertise, commitment to patient care, passion and advocacy for women in science, mentoring of young scientists, and her long-standing generosity toward the ATS Foundation Research Program.

Dr. Wenzel is a professor of medicine and director of the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania. Her studies of asthma phenotypes have led the field in understanding the complexities of severe asthma. Her laboratory is one of the few that can match cellular and molecular responses to asthma therapies.

Leaders from the ATS Foundation gave remarks, including James F. Donohue, MD, who completes his sixth and final year as the ATS Foundation Board of Trustees chair. Chair-Elect Dean E. Schraufnagel, MD, transitions to the role during ATS 2016, bringing with him four years’ experience on the Board of Trustees.

The gala raised more than $577,000 from corporate, medical institution, and individual supporters with proceeds supporting research grants for young investigators.

In 2016, the ATS Foundation will fund more than 20 awards, including unrestricted research awards in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine; research partner awards; and awards for outstanding alumni from the Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical, and Operations Research (MECOR) program. Since 2004, the ATS Foundation Research Program has provided $15 million in grants to more than 189 investigators, who have gone on to secure $188 million in federal funding.

VIDEO: Dr. Sally Wenzel, MD, 2016 Breathing for Life Awardee

VIEW: Photo gallery


The ATS Foundation thanks Genentech for support at the Sapphire Level; Genentech–Novartis at the Platinum Level; Mylan, Inc., at the Crystal Level; AstraZeneca LP, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, and Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron at the Gold Level; FREEMAN, Gilead Sciences, Inc., Meda Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Teva Respiratory at the Silver Level; and Boston Scientific Corporation, Inc., Insmed Incorporated, Merck, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Theravance Biopharma at the Bronze Level.

The ATS Foundation also thanks UPMC & the University of Pittsburgh, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine and the many individuals and medical institutions that have stepped forward to support the Research Program and young investigators in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.


The ATS supports the ATS Foundation’s administrative expenses, assuring that every dollar contributed goes directly to support programs. 

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