Conference hails San Francisco’s medical contributions

John Luce, MD

John Luce, MD

John Luce, MD, is a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of AIDS, caring for patients with AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) since the earliest days of the epidemic. His research at SFGH included studying intensive care unit outcomes of AIDS patients and the ethical issues raised by the AIDS epidemic.

He was scheduled to deliver the ATS 2012 opening address, “A Strange New Disease in San Francisco,” Saturday afternoon. Due to press deadlines, the ATS was unable to cover his presentation in this issue of the ATS Daily Bulletin. Full coverage of the opening ceremony and the events that followed—the Fellows and Junior Professionals Exchange and the Fourth Annual ATS Foundation Research Program Benefit—will appear in Monday’s edition of the newspaper.

Dr. Luce, an emeritus professor of clinical medicine and anesthesia at the University of California, San Francisco, and a specialist in pulmonary diseases and critical care medicine, planned to focus on the evolution of the epidemic, SFGH’s response to it and how it influenced pulmonary and critical care aspects of treatment.

The first hospital ward devoted exclusively to the care of AIDS patients opened at SFGH in 1983, and the hospital was also the first to have full-time AIDS specialists on staff. SFGH continues to attract clinicians with an interest in AIDS research. His research at SFGH included studying intensive care unit outcomes of patients with AIDS and the ethical issues raised by the epidemic.

San Francisco has long been known for its contributions to advancing respiratory medicine and science. The ATS recognized those efforts in an opening ceremony video.

Fellows, residents, other trainees and first-time Conference attendees then gathered for the Fellows and Junior Professionals Exchange. The annual Exchange is an informative and resource-filled activity in which fellows and junior professionals network with peers and colleagues who are well advanced with their career paths.

Later in the evening, attendees gathered for the Fourth Annual ATS Foundation Research Program Benefit. The Benefit raises support for early career researchers in the fields of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. Since 2002, the program has awarded nearly $10 million to more than 100 early career researchers, launching new careers and enabling the next generation of researchers to grow and flourish.

This year’s Benefit was slated to recognize Talmadge E. King Jr., MD, with the 2012 Breathing for Life Award, the highest honor given by the ATS Foundation in recognition of philanthropy. A past president of the ATS, Dr. King is the Julius R. Krevans distinguished professor of internal medicine and chair of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

In response to attendee requests for maximum time to socialize at the Benefit, the Foundation redesigned the format to be more interactive. While previous years have included a sit-down dinner, this year’s event was more informal, allowing attendees to network, mingle, dance and sample an array of San Francisco’s delicious cuisines.