Nina Ireland Program for Lung Health

Nina IrelandThe Mission of the Nina Ireland Program for Lung Health (NIPLH) is to build and sustain the world’s leading program for pulmonary clinical care, training and research emphasizing innovation and collaborative approaches.

The Nina Ireland Program for Lung Health was established in 2010, when Nina Ireland, a long-time patient of Dr. Jeffrey Golden, bequeathed her entire estate to Dr. Golden to establish an endowment supporting pulmonary medicine. The Ireland bequest is believed to be the largest bequest ever given to pulmonary medicine and provides the Division of Pulmonary at UCSF with an unparalleled source of unrestricted income.

Since it’s inception the NIPLH’s main focus has been on four thematic pulmonary areas: Lung Transplantation, Interstitial Lung Disease, Care of the Underserved Populations (Locally and Globally), and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. In it’s first year, the Nina Ireland Program for Lung Health has recruited three new faculty members, funded five junior faculty to help establish research laboratories, supported over a dozen Pulmonary & Critical Care Research Fellows, created a biospecimen repository and lung transplant core that provides clinical data from large groups of lung disease patients and established a very successful innovative grants program that allocates over $500,000 a year in competitive grants.

In 2013, the Nina Ireland Community Advisory Board was formed to help guide and promote the mission of the NIPLH, develop and implement short and long term goals of the program and help raise additional financial support. The Community Advisory Board is comprised of members from the San Francisco community as well as physicians from UCSF and other medical institutions.

The first initiative derived from the NIPLH Community Board is the “Vision for a Cure” for Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF). Pulmonary fibrosis, also called Interstitial Lung Disease, is essentially scarring of the lung; it is one of the world’s most terminal diseases. This disease affects over five million people worldwide and currently there are no approved treatments to slow, cure, or reverse its advancement.

Over the last decade physician scientists and basic researchers at UCSF have worked together to learn more about the mechanisms and cause of this disease. Together the Pulmonary Division and the NIPLH are uniquely positioned to work towards this “Vision for a Cure.”