The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the world’s most prominent organization dedicated to the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis, has just announced its President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., will be stepping down from his position of 21 years. The current Executive Vice President for medical affairs, Dr. Preston W. Campbell, will be succeeding him after serving in his EVP role beginning in 1998.
During Beall’s 35 years of work at the CFF, substantial progress was made in CF research and drug development, resulting in an increase in patient life expectancy from 18 year to many patients living well into their 40s. Thanks to these leaps in research, CF is no longer deemed a pediatric condition.
“Since the Foundation was established, people with CF and their families have inspired us to reach milestones that once seemed unachievable,” said Beall. “When I joined the Foundation in 1980, people with CF and their families had very little reason to hope for a better tomorrow. Now, we have two groundbreaking treatments that attack the underlying cause of the disease, an extensive nationwide network of CF care centers and a community of people with CF who are living longer, healthier lives than ever before.”
Beall adds: “Despite these achievements, we know there is still so much work to be done. I am confident that Dr. Campbell, my trusted colleague, will guide the Foundation through our next era of groundbreaking research and care. I would like to thank my colleagues, partners and the families in the CF community for giving me the opportunity to lead this wonderful organization. It has been one of the great pleasures and privileges of my life.”
In his new role, Campbell will soon be spearheading the Foundation’s aggressive efforts to support research into treating and curing the disease, leveraging his experience directing drug discovery and development, clinical trials, a network of care centers and patient registry databases. During his tenure as a pediatric pulmonologist and center director at the Vanderbilt University CF Care Center, Dr. Campbell expanded the Center’s program from 30 patients to over 300 in just under 5 years.
“It is an honor to follow the path laid out by Dr. Beall and to build upon his tremendous achievements,” said Campbell. “This is an exciting time for the Foundation. We are accelerating our mission to pursue daring new research, which we hope will one day lead to a lifetime cure, while we continue to expand services that help people with CF enjoy the best health and quality of life. As always, the needs of people with CF will guide everything that we do moving forward.”
The two executives will be collaborating closely for the next few months to make the leadership transition as seamless as possible for the Foundation.