The LAM Foundation 2014 Lymphangioleiomyomatosis International Research Conference will focus on the molecular mechanisms of smooth muscle proliferation and cystic lung destruction that occur in the fatal lung disease of women, Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). This is the fifteenth annual LAM conference, which has evolved from a dedicated family/patient conference to a state of the art scientific meeting for LAM and tuberous sclerosis. To respond to concerns of reviewers of the 2012 R13 proposal who commented that a change in venue may enhance attendance and attract new minds and patients, the meeting will be held in Chicago for 2014. The basic science sessions will focus on lung biology and lung cancer, lymphatic biology, biomarkers, imaging methodologies and phenotyping approaches in other lung diseases that may be applicable to LAM. More clinically oriented talks will be incorporated into most sessions, to address practical challenges regarding treatment of the disease, issues unique to transplantation of LAM patients and the development of biomarkers and phenotyping approaches for LAM following lessons learned from other diseases. A concurrent patient- oriented seminar series will address key clinical issues for 175 LAM patients and LAM family members who are expected to attend, and will culminate in a summary of scientific sessions by the Basic and Clinical Track Chairs. A scientific roundtable discussion is held on the last day of the conference to review the key outcomes of the conference and to plan future conferences. Each session will be chaired by an expert in the field and will have invited speakers as well as speakers chosen from the pool of submitted abstracts. There has been a conscious effort to attract established investigators from related disciplines who can complement the expertise of the current pool of LAM investigators. Discussion facilitated by a discussion leader will be an important component of all sessions. Outstanding junior investigators will be awarded travel grants based on merit and will be given the opportunity to present their research in platform and poster formats. The goal of this conference is to provide a forum for leading experts to discuss the molecular and cellular basis of LAM, review the clinical management of LAM, to present cutting edge research, to integrate concepts and to identify creative and innovative research directions.
The 2014 LAM Research conference is the fifteenth in a long history of collaborative NIH/LAM Foundation conferences. Each year, this multidisciplinary conference draws experts in interstitial lung disease, smooth muscle biology, mTOR signaling, lymphangiogenesis, pathology, radiology and endocrinology. The participation of patients as integral contributors, including roles as speakers, teachers, learners, and fund raisers, is perhaps the most innovative and motivating aspect of this unique meeting.