Meeting Notes: American Thoracic Society

By: Chuck Finder

No wonder the organizers of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) national meeting asked to include some Pittsburgh clips in the video opening their annual proceedings this past weekend in Philadelphia: The University of Pittsburgh and UPMC at the other end of the Commonwealth play an important role in the convention.
Highlights of Pitt and UPMC’s participation in the annual meeting include:

  • Sally Wenzel, M.D., director of the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute, will present findings of research that concurrently is being published and posted on the New England Journal of Medicine website. Dr. Wenzel and colleagues found that a lab-made molecule was able to stick to certain inflammatory proteins and reduce acute breathing problems among people with a type of moderate-to-severe asthma. Dr. Wenzel also has other panels to moderate and posters highlighted at the meeting.
  • Student researcher Hilary Strollo, M.S., the daughter of the University of Pittsburgh’s Patrick Strollo, M.D., of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine (PACCM), and UPMC’s Diane Strollo, M.D., of Radiology, spoke at a news conference today about COPD research she will present Wednesday afternoon as part of the ATS meeting’s final day. In a turn-about from her youth, where her parents dragged her to medical conferences, now her parents plan to sit in the audience and listen to their daughter lead a seminar about inflammation associated with depression in COPD patients.
  • Two of the four winners of the ATS Recognition Awards for Scientific Accomplishments come from the PACCM: Mark Gladwin, M.D., PACCM chief, and director, Pitt’s Vascular Medicine Institute, and Naftali Kaminski, M.D., professor and director, Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Diseases at UPMC.
  • In addition to Dr. Wenzel and Hilary Strollo, among faculty, fellows and students giving presentations are Michelle Manni, Ph.D., and Prabir Ray, Ph.D. Among those leading or facilitating lengthy seminars and discussions are  Jessica Bon, M.D.; Hunter Champion, M.D., Ph.D.; Steven Duncan, M.D.; Carol Feghali-Bostwick, Ph.D.; Dr. Gladwin; Kathleen Lindell, Ph.D., R.N.; Bryan McVerry, M.D.;  Alison Morris, M.D., M.S.; Christopher O’Donnell, Ph.D.; Joseph Pilewski, M.D.; Mauricio Rojas, M.D.;  Frank Sciurba, M.D.; Patrick Strollo, M.D., and Yutong Zhao, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Nearly 90 research posters are on display in Philadelphia from Pitt/UPMC. They include  Joel Weissfeld, M.D., and Jill Siegfried, Ph.D., in COPD; Maria Crespo, M.D., John Reilly, Jr., M.D., and more on pulmonary hemodynamics;  Thomas Rice, M.D., and Anne Newman, M.D., MPH, on sleep’s effect on insulin-like growth; Joseph Pilewski, M.D., and Michael Myerburg, M.D., on epithelial sodium channels; and Steve Shapiro, M.D., and others on zinc depletion influence on hyperoxic injury.