April 26, 2018

UAB immunology leader speaks at Unite To Cure — the Fourth International Conference in The Vatican

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Francis Lund 2017Frances Lund, Ph.D., has been invited to the Fourth International Vatican Conference, “Unite To Cure: How Science, Technology and 21st Century Medicine Will Impact Culture and Society,” which meets in Vatican City this week.

Lund, the Charles H. McCauley Chair of Microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will talk today about chronic inflammatory disease and the striking correlation between location and disease incidence in her session, “Is Inflammation the Link Between All Disease?”

In her talk, Lund will introduce the audience to chronic inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and lupus, and show how they have their highest U.S. concentrations in the Southeast, including Alabama. Yet, she notes, the majority of clinical trials to test possible new treatments for these diseases occur outside of the Southeast. “I will argue that we need to do more trials in the epidemic center of disease,” Lund said.

Approximately 7 percent of U.S. residents suffer from autoimmune disease, and treatment of these individuals is estimated to cost $100 billion each year.

The three-day conference in Italy, today through Saturday, includes a scheduled audience with Pope Francis for conference participants.

“It’s not a meeting of scientists talking to scientists; it’s scientists talking to leaders in the fields of business, technology, ethics, faith and a wide array of other disciplines.”

“There are many interesting topics from a philosophical point of view,” Lund said. “It’s not a meeting of scientists talking to scientists; it’s scientists talking to leaders in the fields of business, technology, ethics, faith and a wide array of other disciplines.”

Robin Smith, president of the Cura Foundation, said, “At its heart, the Unite To Cure event seeks to inspire robust collaboration between some of the world’s most influential thought leaders. We believe that cures for many of the world’s most deadly diseases and debilitating medical conditions are not on the distant horizon, but within our grasp. And importantly, as part of this event, we bring patients to The Vatican, so they can share their own stories of hope.”

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