Government Speakers, Nobel Laureate Add to Conference Luster

The ATS 2017 International Conference will take advantage of its Washington, DC, venue by featuring several speakers from the U.S. government. These speakers will continue the ATS’s commitment to bringing diverse perspectives to the International Conference that often cast pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in a broader science, health, and societal context.

James J. Heckman, PhD

Nobel laureate James J. Heckman, PhD, will be the keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony on Saturday, May 20. Dr. Heckman is director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago. He has focused his professional life on the study of the origins of major social and economic problems related to inequality, social mobility, discrimination, skill formation, and regulation, and to devising and evaluating alternative strategies for addressing those problems. He shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on the microeconometrics of diversity and heterogeneity, and for establishing a sound causal basis for public policy evaluation.

During the Opening Ceremony, ATS President David Gozal, MD, MBA, also will speak and present several respiratory health awards.

Peter D. Paré, MD

The J. Burns Amberson Lecture on Sunday, May 21, will highlight an address by Peter D. Paré, MD, whose primary research is in the study of the pathophysiology and genetics of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He is a professor emeritus of respiratory medicine and pathology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Mark L. Busch, PhD

The Plenary Session keynote speaker is Mark L. Busch, PhD, an expert on international trade policy and law. He will discuss the implications of multinational trade agreements on health care systems during his Tuesday, May 23, address. He is the Karl F. Landegger Professor of International Business Diplomacy at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

A Monday, May 22, symposium, “The Cancer Moonshot: ATS = Mission Control for Lung Cancer” (B3) will feature two Washington, DC-based speakers. Douglas Lowy, MD, is the chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology at the National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research. Linda Kinsinger, MD, MPH, is the director of the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

A second symposium the same day is “Realizing the Paris Climate Agreement to Improve Cardio-Pulmonary Health: Where Science Meets Policy,” (B8) features a U.S. senator and two prominent leaders in U.S. climate policy:

  • Sheldon Whitehouse, JD, (D-Rhode Island), is a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and a co-founder of the Senate Climate Action Task Force.
  • Wayne Cascio, MD, is director of the Environmental and Public Health Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Carol Browner, JD, was director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy and EPA administrator.

The ATS Keynote Series provides state-of-the-art lectures on selected topics in an unopposed format to showcase major discoveries in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Two sessions are presented at 8:15 a.m. each day during the conference.

On Sunday, Anthony Fauci, MD, will present “AIDS to Zika: The Perpetual Challenge of Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases.” He is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. The second speaker is Mary Armanios, MD, who will present “Telomeres and Telomerase in Pulmonary Fibrosis and Emphysema.” She is an associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

On Monday, Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, will present “Toward Eliminating All Harms.” He is director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Michael J. Welsh, MD, will present “Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease: Looking Back and Looking Forward.” He is a professor and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa.

On Tuesday, Keertan U.J. Dheda, MD, PhD, will present “Changing Face of an Old Enemy: New Insights Into the Pathogenesis and Management of Drug-Resistant TB.” He is the head of the Division of Pulmonology at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town. Everett Vokes, MD, will present “Lung Cancer Trials in the Age of Precision Medicine.” He is chair of the Department of Medicine and the John E. Ultmann Professor of Medicine and Radiation Oncology at the University of Chicago Medicine.

On Wednesday, Kirk R. Johnson, PhD, will present “Climate Change and Global Warming: A Geological Perspective.” He is director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Gregg J. Semenza, MD, PhD, will present “Hypoxia-Inducible Factors in Physiology and Medicine.” He is the director of the Vascular Program, Institute for Cell Engineering and a professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Return to ATS Preview Articles