2022 American Thoracic Society International Conference

The American Thoracic Society International Conference annually convenes pulmonary experts from around the world to learn about the latest advances in the field, meet with colleagues and establish new collaborations. This year’s conference took place from Sunday, May 15th to Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 in San Francisco, California. This multidisciplinary conference is attended by clinicians and researchers from a variety of disciplines and includes nurses, respiratory therapists, hospitalists, cardiologists allergists, pediatricians and infectious disease doctors, to lead to insights that ultimately improve patient care.

On Saturday, the Alpha-1 Foundation coordinated the first Investigators’ meeting of the Alpha-1 Biomarkers Consortium (A1BC).  This research initiative of the Alpha-1 Foundation is designed to form a prospective cohort of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) individuals via the Alpha-1 Research Registry, and subsequently enroll PiZZ participants to identify Alpha-1 biomarkers.  The identification of important biomarkers in Alpha-1 will advance treatments and a cure for Alpha-1.  The Registry was established to facilitate research initiatives, such as the A1BC, and promote the development of improved treatments and a cure for Alpha-1.  There are currently eleven sites participating in the A1BC, including Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Medical University of South Carolina, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Boston University, National Jewish Health (Denver), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Chicago, University of Florida, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and University of Utah Health Center.

Throughout the conference, sessions were held on Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and related topics. To view the full list of sessions, click here.

On Wednesday, May 18th the conference concluded with a great session titled “Novel Insights in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency” co-chaired by Dr. Mike Wells, Dr. Christine Wendt and Dr. Monica Goldklang. Alpha and Board Member, Jon Hagstrom shared the Patient Perspective to represent Alphas around the world. Thank you to the additional presenters today, Dr. Karina Serban, Dr. Victor Ortega, Dr. Joseph Kaserman and Dr. Oliver McElvaney for your outstanding presentations and commitment to Alpha-1 research.

“Attending ATS for the first time as President and CEO of the Alpha-1 Foundation was an incredible experience. The past five days joined pulmonary experts from around the world to discuss research and science. We are excited to have had sessions each day with our Alpha-1 specialists focused on advancements towards a cure and enhancing the quality of life for Alphas. Thank you to the Foundation leadership and to all of our dedicated researchers and physicians for their commitment to the Alpha-1 community. “The Time is Now” to move forward and take the momentum of all we have learned over the last two years and use that knowledge to accelerate progress, “said Scott Santarella.

The American Thoracic Society Public Advisory Roundtable has an award named for the late John W. Walsh, Co-Founder and former President of the Alpha-1 Foundation. The Alpha-1 Foundation congratulates Dr. Joel Moss on receiving the 2022 John W. Walsh PAR Award for Excellence. Awarded annually to honor a person who embodies passion for patients, innovative spirit, and outstanding leadership skills. A person who has advanced understanding of lung disease through legislation, advocacy, or philanthropy, and has produced tangible benefits for affected individuals. This person has provided vision, hope, support, or relief to those who live with life-threatening pulmonary illness.

Around ATS:

Dr. Monica Goldklang of Columbia University joined with Alpha-1 Foundation staff Randel Plant, Senior Director of Research Programs, and Alison Chin, Clinical Research Coordinator, at the ATS poster session. Dr. Goldklang showcased her poster on “The Alpha-1 Research Registry: Establishment of a Clinical Research Registry Within the Alpha-1 Foundation.” Click here to learn more about joining the Alpha-1 Research Registry: http://ow.ly/PkWz50JaxqQ

Dr. Jorge Lascano from the University of Florida presenting at the ATS poster session, “Correlation of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Levels and Exosome – Associated Neutrophil Elastase Endothelial Injury in subjects with SARS-CoV2-Infection.”

Dr. Robert Sandhaus presenting his poster at ATS today on “Pilot Study of O2asis: A Novel, Closed-System Heated Humidification Device for Individuals with COPD Requiring Supplemental Oxygen at Home.”