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Introduction : Lung Genetics, Genomics, and Gene Therapy* FREE TO VIEW

David M. Rodman, MD, Chair; Mark W. Geraci, MD, Co-Chair
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*From the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO.

Correspondence to: David M. Rodman, MD, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Director, Center for Genetic Lung Diseases, Denver, CO 80262

Chest. 2002;121(3_suppl):1S. doi:10.1378/chest.121.3_suppl.1S
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The 44th Annual Thomas Petty Aspen Lung Conference was held June 6 to 9, 2001. The title of this year’s conference was “Lung Genetics, Genomics, and Gene Therapy.” In planning this meeting, the organizers noted the recent completion of the Human Genome Project, and the proliferation of new experimental tools. It was decided that the 44th conference would bring together investigators from all areas of pulmonary medicine to discuss these landmark advances. There was some trepidation in planning a meeting based on general principles, rather than a specific disease category. However, conference attendance reached an all-time high, and the exchange of ideas and the presentation of new data and approaches took place at an extraordinarily high level.

State-of-the-art presentations on the first day of the conference focused on genetics and molecular epidemiology, with presentations on the genetics of COPD, asthma, interstitial lung disease, and pulmonary fibrosis. Day 2 included presentations on the genetics of rare lung diseases, including primary pulmonary hypertension and lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). Advances in the field of functional genomics were the next order of business, with presentations related to sepsis, lung injury, COPD, and LAM. Finally, on the last morning, the translation of these discoveries into therapy was discussed in two presentations on gene transfer and gene correction.

A large number of high-quality abstracts were submitted to the conference, 19 of which were presented orally. The abstracts covered a variety of novel and late-breaking topics, including the genomics of host-pathogen interactions, the proteomics of the lung neutrophil, and the molecular epidemiology of sarcoidosis. The conference summarizer was Dr. Steven M. Albelda, who did a remarkable job of describing the accomplishments to date and defining the challenges facing the field. As you read through the reports that follow, you will discover a far-reaching road map for pulmonary genetics and functional genomics research.

Abbreviation: LAM = lymphangioleiomyomatosis




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