World’s Largest Respiratory Care Society Awards Highest Honor to Lundquist Institute Investigator

Dr. Richard Casaburi is a world-renowned expert on COPD


LOS ANGELES – The Lundquist Institute investigator, Richard Casaburi, PhD, MD, has been presented with the European Respiratory Society’s (ERS) most prestigious honor, the Presidential Award, in recognition of his outstanding work to strengthen respiratory science and medicine worldwide. The award was presented during the ERS annual International Congress 2020 that welcomed more than 33,000 virtual attendees from around the world.

Each year, the ERS International Congress showcases the latest in excellence across the field of respiratory medicine and science and hosts the largest gathering of respiratory experts in the world. This year marked ERS’s 30th annual International Congress, where world-renowned respiratory professionals discussed pressing health topics such as managing the global emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic and lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The annual meeting was to be held in Vienna, Austria, with a projected attendance of over 20,000, but was transitioned to a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ERS, with over a 35,000-person membership, is the world's largest lung medicine society.

“The European Respiratory Society’s annual meeting has long been the professional high point of my year,” Dr. Casaburi said. “Receiving the highest honor, from the largest respiratory care society in the world, seems like an implausible dream. This award qualifies as the greatest honor of my career.”

Dr. Casaburi is the Medical Director of the Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center at The Lundquist Institute, Associate Chief of Research for the Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Physiology and Medicine at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and is a member of the Board of Directors of the COPD Foundation. He is also a Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

He is an internationally renowned expert on COPD, now the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. He has extensive experience in clinical trials evaluating interventions, including exercise testing and training, that are designed to improve the lives of COPD patients. Dr. Casaburi’s work has been a key driver in the establishment of the physiologic basis of rehabilitative strategies for COPD patients. For the past 27 years he has been President of the Pulmonary Education and Research Foundation (PERF). He first came to The Lundquist Institute in 1973 and has since published more than 325 papers and 300 abstracts.  He established the Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center in 1999, which now is housed in the Chronic Disease Clinical Research Center (CDCRC), an NIH-funded building on the Lundquist campus. He has been site investigator in three major NIH-funded clinical research networks and he and his collaborators have conducted over 75 clinical trials.

Dr. Casaburi holds a B.S., M.Eng., and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as well as an M.D. from the University of Miami. He is a longtime Rancho Palos Verdes resident.

“I congratulate Dr. Casaburi on this most distinguished honor,” said David Meyer, PhD, President and CEO of The Lundquist Institute. “This prestigious award signifies a lifetime of accomplishments and a legacy of medical innovation and discovery. He is truly an international leader in the field of respiratory health.”

The Lundquist Institute, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit biomedical research institutes, honored Dr. Casaburi as a “Legend” at its 16th Annual Legends celebration last year for his outstanding service in finding solutions to the most pressing medical problems of our day.