Monday, July 20, 2015

We would like to bring to your attention a  most important announcement that came in the week of July 14, 2015.

"As of the end of this year and after 39 very successful years,  the leadership of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) will pass from Bob Beall to Preston Campbell."

Without CFF, the field of CF would not be what it is today. CFF is a major driver and financer of research in US but also of selected projects outside of US. The visionary role of Bob Beall cannot be emphasised sufficiently.  He was most likely the first person to really believe in the possibility of a cure for CF. He worked tirelessly towards that goal by facilitating CF research and promoting excellence in CF care. Bob Beall surrounded himself with equally brilliant people like Preston Campbell , Bruce Marshall and many more. CFF promoted basic research to uncover the root cause of cystic fibrosis. But they were also pioneers in moving the clinical phase of drug development forward, so that patients would get access to new treatments faster. Together with excellent clinical researchers headed by Bonnie Ramsey, Bob Beall saw the importance of a specific clinical trial network dedicated to CF research. His and their example inspired us all to give the best for patients with CF, be it in research or in clinical care. CFF’s support to the ECFS-CTN has been an important factor in the success of CTN. ECFS and ECFS-CTN are very grateful for this continuous close collaboration. 

With the announcement that Bob Beall hands over the torch to Preston Campbell, a new chapter starts. The approval of drugs that improve the basic CF defect is a monumental milestone and indeed a well chosen time point for transition. But much work lies ahead. More efficient correctors and potentiators are needed and an effective treatment must be found for every patient with CF, also for those patients with  orphan CFTR mutations. ECFS  wishes the future CFF leader Preston Campbell all success and looks forward to a further pleasant and constructive transatlantic collaboration. 

We congratulate Bob Beall. Very few people can look back on such a successful career. From the end of 2015 on, we wish Bob a much deserved less busy life, time for leisure and family and many things he undoubtedly had to postpone because of more pressing matters. With Preston Campbell at the rudder the entire international CF community is confident that the leadership of CFF is in extremely capable hands.