Speakers Do a Deep Dive on Seals, Bacteriophage, Pharma and ME

Tuesday and Wednesday mark the final two days of the ATS Keynote Series with presentations on the physiology of deep-diving seals, principles of bacteriophage biology, understanding how Pharma scientists think, and becoming an effective medical educator.

Two sessions are presented from 8:15 to 9 a.m. each day, when no other programming is scheduled. Each day of ATS 2018, the series has highlighted state-of-the-art lectures on a variety of topics to showcase major discoveries in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.


On Tuesday, the ATS International Conference will take advantage of its 2018 location and call on some local experts to present on topics that have a San Diego influence.

Hypoxemic and Ischemic Protection in Deep-Diving Seals (K5)

Room 6B (Upper Level), San Diego Convention Center

Paul Ponganis, MD, PhD, a researcher at the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine at the University of California, San Diego, will explain the level of arterial hemoglobin in seals during deep dives versus on land.

In addition to being a trained anesthesiologist, Dr. Ponganis has dedicated much of his life to studying the physiology of animals, especially diving animals, such as seals, penguins, and sea lions. He has been a leading contributor to the field of diving physiology of marine mammals and birds for decades, furthering the understanding of the exceptional physiological adaptations of numerous species of diving animals.

Bacteriophage Therapy for Serious Multidrug-Resistant Bacterial Infections (K6)

Room 6 C/F (Upper Level), San Diego Convention Center

Three speakers will present the second lecture. They are Robert T. Schooley, MD, professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health, at the University of California, San Diego; Steffanie A. Strathdee, PhD, associate dean of Global Health Sciences and Harold Simon Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego; and Thomas Patterson, PhD, professor in residence in the Psychiatry Department at the University of California, San Diego. The trio will discuss the potential clinical utility of bacteriophages in the treatment of serious multidrug resistant bacterial infections from the perspectives of the physician, the patient, and an actively engaged family member.

Dr. Schooley began his research career studying the immunopathogenesis of herpes virus infections in immunocompromised patients but shifted his focus to AIDS in 1981 when the first cases of this syndrome began to appear in Boston. His research group was among the first to delineate the humoral and cellular immune responses to HIV infection.

Dr. Strathdee is an infectious disease epidemiologist who has spent the last two decades focusing on HIV prevention in underserved, marginalized populations in developed and developing countries, including injection drug users, men having sex with men, and sex workers. 

Dr. Patterson was a founding editor of the journal AIDS and Behavior and has served as co-editor and on the editorial boards of a number of other journals.


On Pharma: The Complexity of Innovation (K7)

Room 6B (Upper Level), San Diego Convention Center

Theodore F. Reiss, MD, MBE, a lecturer in clinical and translational research at University of Pennsylvania Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, will address how innovation involves collaborative interdependencies among scientific disciplines.

Dr. Reiss began his career with Merck & Co. in clinical pharmacology and pulmonary-immunology and eventually was responsible for other therapeutic areas within the company including gastroenterology. He currently serves as vice chair for the Foundation for American Thoracic Society and chairs the ATS’s Drug, Device, Discovery and Development committee. He is a member of the FDA Science Board, and provides advice to the Commissioner on scientific issues.

The Pulmonologist as Medical Educator: A Personal Perspective (K8)

Room 6 C/F (Upper Level), San Diego Convention Center

Steven Weinberger, MD, former executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Physicians, will identify current trends in medical education and talk about recognizing opportunities that will enhance professional advancement as a clinician educator.

Dr. Weinberger is an adjunct professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he has been teaching since 2004.