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Pancreas Experts to Meet in Pittsburgh for PancreasFest 2010

PITTSBURGH, July 20, 2010 – More than 200 physicians and scientists from around the world will gather in Pittsburgh July 29 to 31 to discuss the latest findings in pancreatic research at PancreasFest 2010, the sixth annual meeting of pancreas researchers who meet to find new ways of working together to improve patient care.

Leading experts in the field will cover a wide variety of topics, including the relationship between cystic fibrosis and the pancreas, advancements in pancreatic cancer treatments, the genetic epidemiology of pancreas diseases, and the role of diabetes and chronic pancreatitis. PancreasFest is intended to create an environment that encourages multi-center collaborations and assists junior researchers in developing an academic career in pancreatic disease.

“In many ways, the pancreas remains a mystery,” said David Whitcomb, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and one of the PancreasFest course directors. “Although we’ve made significant progress in understanding the pancreas, especially in terms of its genetic relationships, we still have a long way to go. Because diseases like chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer strike a very small percentage of the population, it’s necessary to collaborate with researchers from other institutes to build up a patient registry for research studies and clinical trials that will advance our knowledge of patient care.”

The event includes a continuing medical education credit component for physicians. In addition to meetings led by nationally renowned researchers and physicians, investigators will have time each day to discuss their work with those sharing similar interests.

About the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

As one of the nation’s leading academic centers for biomedical research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine integrates advanced technology with basic science across a broad range of disciplines in a continuous quest to harness the power of new knowledge and improve the human condition. Driven mainly by the School of Medicine and its affiliates, Pitt has ranked among the top 10 recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1997 and now ranks fifth in the nation, according to preliminary data for fiscal year 2008. Likewise, the School of Medicine is equally committed to advancing the quality and strength of its medical and graduate education programs, for which it is recognized as an innovative leader, and to training highly skilled, compassionate clinicians and creative scientists well-equipped to engage in world-class research. The School of Medicine is the academic partner of UPMC, which has collaborated with the University to raise the standard of medical excellence in Pittsburgh and to position health care as a driving force behind the region’s economy. For more information about the School of Medicine, see www.medschool.pitt.edu.

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