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Pulmonary Research

The Parker B. Francis Fellowship ProgramParker B. Francis Fellowship Program

Francis Family Foundation funding enables breakthrough solutions in pulmonary medicine leading to the development of enhanced treatments and cures for pulmonary diseases. Visit the Fellowship Program website at http://www.francisfellowships.org to learn more.

A Family Heritage

Parker B. Francis announced his interest in Puritan compressed oxygenthe “breathing business” by launching the Kansas City Oxygen Gas Company in 1913. As the company continued to prosper and grow, it became the Puritan Compressed Gas Corporation in 1931. After V. Ray Bennett constructed the first Bennett Resuscitator unit for a hospital in Los Angeles, Parker B. Francis merged his company with Bennett’s to create the Puritan Bennett Corporation, signifying the importance of this product within the industry. In 1951, he established a foundation bearing his name. Since Puritan-Bennett was a leading manufacturer of respiratory equipment and medical gases, the primary emphasis of the Foundation was related to pulmonary research. The success of Puritan-Bennett in the following years allowed for substantial increases in Foundation resources. The Parker B. Francis Fellowship program, a national postdoctoral study in pulmonary research, was inaugurated in 1975 and Fellowships were awarded in fields related to pulmonary disease and anesthesiology.

A History of the Fellowship Program

In collaboration with local historian William S. Worley, the Francis Family Foundation published a book about the history of the Parker B. Francis Fellowship program in 2006. The books contains, among other things, a look back at the origins of the Puritan Bennett Corporation, as well as highlighting numerous Fellows, whose pursuit of excellence in research has made the Fellowship program second only to the National Institute of Health in the funding of pulmonary research. All former Mentors, Fellows and Scientific Council members were sent a copy of the book. A limited number of books remain. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact Shari Hockenbery, CMP, at shari@francisfoundation.org.

A Family Legacy

Today, the Parker B. Francis Fellowship program continues to support outstanding investigators planning careers in pulmonary research and awards Fellowships in fields related to lung biology and pulmonary disease. Under the direction of Dr. Thomas R. Martin, Fellowship grants are made for three years and enable a deserving investigator to devote the majority of his or her professional effort to lung-related research.

PBF Fellowship Program Success

The Parker B. Francis Fellowship Program continues to be a bright light of success in an otherwise gray economy. Program Director, Thomas R. Martin, M.D., and Program Administrator Deborah Snapp, conducted a survey in 2009 of former PBF Fellows in years 1976 - 2009. The results of the survey, which are included here for review, highlight the enormous boost in career trajectory PBF Fellows enjoy. In addition, the survey shows that following the Fellowship, former Fellows tend to not only stay in the field of research, while bringing in millions of dollars in research grants, but also advance medical treatment based on the impact of the research.

2009 PBF Survey Report (click to view)
For more information, visit the Fellowship program’s website.