Welcome to ATS 2017!

By Zea Borok, MD 
International Conference Committee Chair

Zea Borok, MD

On behalf of the ATS International Conference Committee, I am pleased to welcome you to ATS 2017. It is wonderful to be meeting in Washington, DC, the city that 113 years ago hosted the first conference of the American Sanatorium Association, which became the American Thoracic Society in 1960.

The ATS founders could scarcely have imagined the advances in preventing and treating tuberculosis that have occurred over the past century, let alone the discoveries in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine that will be shared during this conference. However, the Society’s founders would recognize one similarity of ATS 2017 with their first conference: An underlying belief that when clinicians and scientists share ideas and exchange information, the path to better treatments is shortened, and patients’ hopes are raised.

At ATS 2017, you will find sessions led by world experts and master clinicians in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine and research; trainees presenting their research or a case study for the first time; and members of the multidisciplinary team that defines health care today engaged in discussions about how they can integrate their work to restore the health of adult and pediatric patients. Furthermore, at ATS 2017, you will find presenters whose careers lie outside of respiratory medicine, or even medicine itself.

We have taken advantage of our Washington, DC, location to invite the participation of government officials. Our program will be enriched by presentations from a U.S. senator and from leaders of the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Smithsonian Museum, among many others who work in government. Our meeting also coincides with the American College of Radiology’s annual meeting, and together, we will hold a joint symposium Tuesday afternoon on thoracic imaging and radiographic metrics in the quantification of lung disease.

In a conference this big—500 sessions, 800 speakers, 6,700 abstracts and case reports, and over 200 exhibitors—it is impossible to touch on even a fraction of the many highlights. In today’s ATS Daily Bulletin and those that will follow, you can read previews of many sessions that will take place during ATS 2017. And, of course, all of the sessions are listed in the Final Program and within the International Conference app.

We on the International Conference Committee are proud of the sessions we have programmed this year and welcome your feedback so that this conference can continue to grow and meet the needs of all those concerned with advancing pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Enjoy the conference!

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