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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Global Experts on Pancreas Diseases to Meet in Pittsburgh, July 28 to 30

PITTSBURGH, July 27, 2011 – Nearly 200 physicians and scientists from around the world will gather in Pittsburgh July 28 to 30 to discuss the latest findings in pancreatic research at PancreasFest 2011, the seventh 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 acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic experts with the latest research findings will make recommendations for treatment of a variety of pancreatic diseases. PancreasFest is intended to create an environment that encourages multi-center collaborations and assist junior researchers in developing an academic career in pancreatic disease.

“A healthy pancreas is essential for overall good health, yet it’s arguably the least understood organ in the body,” said David Whitcomb, M.D., Ph.D., chief, division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and one of the PacreasFest course directors.

“The complexity of pancreatic disease and the limited number of patients at each major center require groups to work together so all perspectives are represented and the pace of discovery is markedly increased. Researchers meeting at PancreasFest already have made a number of major advances in pancreatic genetics, identifying risk factors for chronic pancreatitis, management of pancreatic cysts and understanding the effects of pain on quality of life. The popularity of PancreasFest continues to increase because this group of investigators has been so remarkably effective.”

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.

With the goals of presenting the latest basic, clinical and translational pancreas research and encouraging cross-collaboration among researchers from around the world, PancreasFest 2011 organizers invite researchers and physicians to register or request a course brochure by visiting

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