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About the Program

Program Learning Objectives

The Aspen Lung Conference seeks to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. To provide an international forum for leading basic, translational, and clinical researchers to exchange ideas regarding fundamental concepts underlying susceptibility and resistance to develop COPD.
  2. To stimulate interactions between the fields of phenotype/endotypes, genomics/epigenetics, aging, stem cell biology, metabolism and lipid biochemistry with the goal of identifying emerging, shared interests that may lead to the performance of more efficient and productive research.
  3. To advance our understanding of clinical and molecular COPD phenotypes/endotypes that predict risk or response in order to quickly translate preclinical findings to more effective, personalized therapies.
  4. To challenge and thereby stimulate the scientific interests of trainees, attracting a new generation of junior investigators into the field of COPD pathobiology.

Intended Audience  

Local/Regional/National/International Physicians/Clinicians (adult and pediatric)/Research Physician-Scientists in Pulmonary Sciences, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine/Primary Care Physicians/General Medicine Physicians/Public Health. 

The 61st Annual Meeting, 2018

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States and the 4th leading cause of death worldwide. Despite progress, current therapies only mitigate symptoms and have no clear effect on mortality or the long-term decline in lung function. 

Understanding the pathophysiology of COPD, developing novel treatment strategies, and effectively implementing lung-reparative therapeutics would be expected to have significant impact on COPD, as well as other pulmonary diseases.  

With an emphasis on the integration of basic, translational, and clinical approaches, the 2018 conference focuses on a central question: how can knowledge of resilience or susceptibility to develop COPD be translated into more effective therapies?  

To address this central question, we have organized the program into a series of thematic sessions framed by a Keynote Address, Clinical Perspective and NHLBI Perspective. The thematic sessions focus on the following:

  • Clinical and molecular heterogeneity of COPD
  • COPD as a disease of accelerated aging
  • Stem cell dysfunction and regenerative therapies for COPD
  • Immune and epithelial cell mechanisms of COPD exacerbations
  • Metabolic and biochemical mechanisms of COPD pathogenesis
  • Consequences of COPD beyond the obstructed lung

These thematic sessions are anchored by presentations from thought leaders in each respective area, with ample time dedicated to scientific debate. We invite you and your colleagues to submit abstracts for consideration for a podium presentation and/or a poster at the conference. We are particularly interested in attracting translational basic or clinical research abstracts related to the selected thematic sessions.


The varied scientific themes and therapeutic strategies emerging during the conference are reconciled in a concluding Conference Summary presented by Stephen I. Rennard, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University of Nebraska and Head, Clinical Discovery Unit, AstraZeneca. 

As such, at the conclusion of this conference attendees will be able to:

  1. Discuss the concept of COPD heterogeneity, and the possibility that unique phenotypes or endotypes may identify cohorts with common mechanisms of disease and response to treatment. 
  2. Appreciate the complex interactions between genomics/epigenetics, aging, immune/epithelial interactions, metabolism and lipid biochemistry, and their link to COPD susceptibility and resilience.
  3. Incorporate current concepts from stem cell biology to better understand repair of the injured lung.
  4. Understand mechanisms by which pulmonary vascular disease and lung cancer develop in COPD.

As with previous Aspen Lung Conferences, we utilize the successful format of presentations grouped with relevant, short presentations. Each presentation has sufficient time for discussion to facilitate a lively exchange of innovative ideas and thoughts on COPD. 

There are seven honorary lecturers: 

  • Parker B. Francis 
  • Roger S. Mitchell 
  • Giles F. Filley 
  • Thomas A. Neff 
  • Reuben M. Cherniack 
  • Thomas L. Petty 
  • Marvin I. Schwarz 

We look forward to your participation in the Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference, 61st Annual Meeting and to a combination of outstanding science and great fun. We hope that you and your colleagues are able to join us. 


Americans with Disabilities Act Statement: Please indicate if you have any need for auxiliary aids or special assistance services.

Accreditation Statement: 
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Aspen Lung Conference.   The University of Colorado School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Colorado School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Future Topics

2019 Annual Meeting
June 5-8, 2019
"Exploring the Oncologic Paradigm of Pulmonary Hypertension"
Brian B. Graham, M.D., Chair
Marjorie Patricia George, M.D., Chair​​​