Keynotes, Lectures Straight From the Headlines

Rana Awdish, MD

Rana Awdish, MD

Obesity, vaccinations, pandemic viruses — these are a few of the timely and especially relevant topics that keynote speakers and lecturers will examine at the ATS 2020 International Conference. Leading experts will share their research and perspectives on these topics that were hand-selected for the pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine community.

Opening Ceremony
The official kickoff for ATS 2020 begins with the Opening Ceremony 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. The Ceremony will feature ATS member Rana Awdish, MD, author of In Shock: My Journey From Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope, a critically-acclaimed, bestselling memoir based on her own illness. Dr. Awdish is a critical care physician and faculty member of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, where she also earned her medical degree. She completed her fellowship training at Henry Ford Hospital, where she currently serves as the Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program. She also serves as Medical Director of Care Experience for the entire Health System. During her address, she will discuss the importance of improving the overall patient experience while in the hospital, focusing on empathy and communication, drawing on her own personal experience. She also has generously donated copies of her book, which will be available at the Opening Ceremony, with all proceeds going to support the ATS Research Program.

Also during the Ceremony, ATS President James Beck, MD, ATSF, will welcome attendees and present the Breathing for Life Award, Public Service Award, World Lung Health Award, and Jo Rae Wright Award for Outstanding Science.

Amberson Lecture
The J. Burns Amberson Lecture on Sunday, May 17, will be presented by Richard C. Boucher, MD. Dr. Boucher is director of the Marsico Lung Institute/UNC Cystic Fibrosis Center at the University of North Carolina Medical Center in Chapel Hill. The Amberson Lecturer is an individual with a career of major lifetime contributions to clinical or basic pulmonary research and/or clinical practice. The lecture is given in honor of James Burns Amberson, an international authority on chest disease and tuberculosis.

Keynote Series
This year’s ATS Keynote Series will explore especially timely and relevant topics that include obesity and vaccinations. These sessions are presented at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday during the Conference.

On Monday, Babak Mokhlesi, MD, MS, will present “Obesity-Hypoventilation Syndrome: Lessons From the Pickwick Papers” (K2). Dr. Mokhlesi is a pulmonologist and an expert in sleep disorders at the University of Chicago Medicine. He is also a professor of medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Chicago.

On Tuesday, Kristen A. Feemster, MD, MPH, MSHPR, will present “Vaccines on the Horizon: Implications for Practice and Policy” (K3). She is adjunct associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, research director for the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and medical director of the Immunization Program and Acute Communicable Diseases at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Plenary Session
Tuesday’s Plenary Session will feature a keynote address by Robert D. Hicks, PhD, who is the director of the Mütter Museum and its Historical Medical Library; the William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine; and project director of “Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 in Philadelphia.”