With an emphasis on the integration of basic, translational and clinical approaches, the 57th annual Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference will focus on a central question: how can we translate knowledge regarding the mechanisms underlying alveolar injury into effective approaches to rebuild the injured lung? To address this central question, we have organized the conference program into a series of thematic sessions focusing on (i) contemporary understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms underlying acute and progressive lung injury and fibrosis, (ii) conceptual issues centering around the complex interactions between pulmonary epithelial cells, mesenchymal cells, and the surrounding extracellular connective tissue matrix, (iii) current understanding of matrix scaffolds and stem cell biology as approaches to repairing and rebuilding the injured lung, while preventing the development or progression of fibrotic lung disease, and (iv) strategies to translate scientific advances into potential therapies for patients with lung injury and/or fibrosis. By addressing these topics across six thematic sessions, we seek to accomplish the following objectives: 1) To provide an international forum for leading basic, translational, and clinical researchers to exchange ideas regarding fundamental concepts contributing to lung injury, fibrosis, and repair. 2) To stimulate interactions between the historically-disparate scientific fields of Acute Lung Injury/ARDS and Pulmonary Fibrosis with the goal of identifying emerging, shared interests that may lead to the performance of more efficient and productive research. 3) To enhance the likelihood of success in translation of preclinical scientific advances into direct patient benefit by developing novel strategies to better implement scientific advances into patient care and by addressing challenges in clinical trial design. 4) To challenge and stimulate the scientific interests of trainees, attracting a new generation of junior investigators into the fields of lung injury and repair.
The theme of the 57th Annual Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference is Rebuilding the Injured Lung. By emphasizing an integrated approach, this meeting will address key scientific concepts as well as the practical implementation of advances in lung injury, fibrosis, and repair. The overall objective of the conference is to foster collaboration between basic scientists and clinical investigators within the fields of lung injury and fibrosis through the identification of shared interests in lung inflammation and repair. Development of these new collaborations is expected to yield substantive benefit to patient care.