Treatments for cystic fibrosis topic of Science Lecture

A research scientist will discuss recent breakthroughs in the treatment of cystic fibrosis as part of the Science Lecture Series at Saddleback College Friday.

Senior research scientist Dr. Brian Bear from the discovery innovation department at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company, will be presenting his lecture, entitled “Cystic Fibrosis: Journey to a Cure,” on from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Room 313 in the Science/Math/Engineering building.

The lecture will examine the development of cystic fibrosis research over the past five decades, in addition to recent discoveries and trends in cystic fibrosis treatment.

According to WebMD, cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disease that causes malnutrition and life-threatening infections by clogging the lungs and pancreas with thick mucus buildup.

The disease currently has no cure. But the life expectancy of people with the disease has been steadily increasing from less than 10 years to about 40 years, thanks to advances in medical research, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Bear assisted in the research of Kalydeco, the first drug to treat the underlying cause of the disease rather than the symptoms. It was approved as a treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month, according to a press release by the FDA.