11 December 2018

Season's greetings from the PVRI

Season's greetings from the PVRI


A note from the Chief Executive, Stephanie Barwick

Dear Friends,

A big thank you to all of our members, sponsors, donors, colleagues and friends, who have given their all to the PVRI family during 2018!

Our Annual Report 2018 will soon be published on the website, giving a detailed overview of all the achievements during the year, including reports from all our Task Forces. However, a brief overview of the 2018 highlights is detailed below.

I wish you all a very happy holiday season and good start to 2019. I look forward to seeing many of you at our Barcelona Annual World Congress in January, which promises to be our biggest meeting yet, with already 300 delegates registered.

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Around the globe in 365 days

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As has become tradition in the PVRI calendar, during 2018 we held two major international conferences – the 12th PVRI Annual World Congress in Singapore from 21-26 January and the 5th Annual Drug Discovery & Development Symposium in Bethesda on 9-10 July.

The 12th PVRI Annual World Congress in Singapore

We started the year with our annual meeting in Singapore with 240 delegates from 32 countries and accepted 68 abstracts. 77% of delegates rated the overall scientific programme which spread over four days as ‘excellent’. From the 43 presentations, the most highly rated were from Hiromi Matsubara, Japan, onBPA: What are the complications and how are they avoided/managed?’ and from Nick Morrell, UK, on ‘The genetics of pulmonary arterial hypertension’.

5th Annual Drug Discovery & Development Symposium

Our Bethesda Drug Symposium was attended by 123 delegates including 18 representatives from the FDA. All attendees from academia, industry and regulatory bodies participated in stimulating discussions and debates over 1 ½ days. Sincere thanks to our Co-chairs Stuart Rich, John Newman and Bradley Maron for putting together a diverse scientific programme featuring eleven excellent presentations on new trials, targets and drugs. We were pleased to have hosted this unique meeting in partnership with our scientists and clinicians, FDA, and the growing number of pharmaceutical companies, which now includes 11 PVRI Roundtable members.

Other PH meetings in countries around the world the PVRI has supported include:

  • Australia
  • Chile
  • Dubai
  • France
  • India
  • Oman
  • Paraguay
  • Singapore
  • Ukraine
  • USA
  • UK

with a total reach of over 1,500 delegates.

Our Journal, Pulmonary Circulation

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We pleased to announce this year's publication of 137 original research and review articles in our scientific journal, Pulmonary Circulation, which has an international reach and reputation. 

We are delighted that it gained its second Impact Factor of 2.283 in June 2018. This is an improvement of nearly 5% from last year's Impact Factor of 2.178, indicating that our journal is increasingly seen as an outlet for high quality research by our authors.

Pulmonary Circulation is now ranked 37/59 journals (up from 40th) in Respiratory Systems, and 65/128 (up from 69th) in Cardiology.

PVRI Digital Clinic

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We launched the first iteration of a novel e-learning platform, the PVRI Digital Clinic.

During the latter part of 2018, the PVRI Digital Clinic was successful in its application for additional funding to carry the project into Phase 2. Our aim is to combine feedback from Phase 1 and newly identified improvements to produce a platform that will become an evolving learning tool that retains its relevance in the ever-changing world of PH. PVRI members can view the course in its current form on the PVRI website, under the ‘E-learning’ tab. 

Our ambition is to house 12 patient cases within the clinic, with the help of shortlisted leading PH centres around the world. These will be reviewed annually by the PVRI Digital Clinic Committee along with a call for new cases. We are sincerely grateful to our funding partners, Merck & Co and GSK for their support.

Educational grants


During the year, we have awarded many grants to PVRI members, including our newly launched PVRI Fellowships and Research Grants in collaboration with The Dinosaur Trust.  

37 Travel Grants were awarded during the year to various PVRI members in support of national and international PVRI meetings and initiatives. These included 15 Travel Grants for young scientists and investigators to participate in the 12th Annual World Congress on PVD in Singapore. Further grants included support of the 5th International Atacama-Leh High Altitude meeting in Chile in March, the SAPH 2018 Annual Symposium in Dubai in April, the PH Respiratory meeting in Muscat in April, the IPAH Cohort Study meeting in the UK in April, the 1st PVRI sponsored PH meeting in the Ukraine in September, as well as support of local PH activity in South Africa and the USA.

Support for promising young scientists


The PVRI was pleased to award four educational travel grants to young PVD professionals from the UK to attend the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress, held in Munich, Germany from 25-29 August 2018, and to the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress, which took place in Paris, France, from 15 -19 September 2018. The PVRI grants included the registration fee to the Congresses, all travel and accommodation expenses. 

The PVRI also awarded 15 Travel Grants to young scientists to participate in the Singapore Annual World Congress in January 2018. A further 15 Travel Grants will be awarded in Barcelona in January 2019.

'Supporting young scientists to participate in international meetings is one of the pillars of the PVRI's mission. We are delighted to be able to award these grants to young and dedicated PVD professionals. Congratulations to all.' 

- Stephanie Barwick, Chief Executive


PVRI and the global health agenda

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We are proud to announce that we have recently been awarded membership to the following prestigious internationally recognised health organisations: 

  1. World Heart Federation (WHF)
  2. NCD Alliance
  3. World Health Organisation (WHO): Global Co-ordination mechanism for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (GCM/NCD) 

As part of this remit, an article was published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine Journal outlining the global burden of the disease. You can read the article here. As part of our mission, we look forward to working with all colleagues from the above organisations in an endeavour to get PVD accepted as a recognised global health burden.

Assisting treatment in the clinic


Supporting the clinical work of doctors in developing countries is one of the most important priorities of the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute (PVRI). 

We are delighted to support the work of Dr Farid Rashidi, Pulmonologist and Intensivist at the Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Iran, through the purchase of specialist medical equipment which is used during surgery. 

The newly purchased forceps from the PVRI have already been put to good use when a young CTEPH patient with distal involvement recently underwent PEA surgery and all specimen from three segments were removed. The patient recovered so well and was able to be discharged soon after the operation.

With around 30 patients undergoing PEA surgery last year without mortality at this Centre, this equipment is of vital importance. 

Professor Gérald Simonneau, Founder of the French National Reference Centre and who provides on-going support to Dr Farid Rashidi, congratulated the team and wished them continued success. He was delighted by their progress.


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Inset: Lynette and Stephen Swift at the Italian themed street party, along with the late Rupert Swift, who sadly lost his battle with PH in October. 

Under the leadership of Lynette Swift, a committed volunteer who has spearheaded the PVRI’s fundraising activities since 2015, we have received over £34,000 ($44,000) during the year. Most of the monies were received from private donations in memory of Lynette’s son, Rupert, who was first diagnosed with the disease in 2006 and sadly passed away this October at the young age of 32.. The family has decided to establish an ongoing fund entitled the Rupert Swift Award in his memory.

We would like to express our deepest sympathy to Lynette and her family and our most humble thanks for establishing the Rupert Swift Award. 

An update on Barcelona


We have received an overwhelming response to our Annual World Congress, being held in Barcelona 2019. With 300 delegates already registered, 170 abstract accepted submissions and a brand new pre-meeting entitled the '1st Symposium of the International Consortium for Genetic Studies in PAH', the Congress promises to be our biggest and most dynamic meeting yet. To register for the meeting, please click here.

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