President's Message

HomeATS CommunityPresident's Message ▶ Bringing Together the Global Respiratory Community at ATS 2023
Bringing Together the Global Respiratory Community at ATS 2023

Since 1905, the ATS has been bringing together the brightest minds in global respiratory health to showcase the latest research and medical advances at our annual International Conference. The 2023 edition takes place this month in Washington, DC (May 19-24) and on behalf of the ATS team, I’m excited to welcome you to what promises to be the most engaging one yet. Cutting-edge science, insightful learning opportunities, and plenty of chances to connect with your peers make ATS 2023 the can’t-miss event of the year. I look forward to seeing you there.

We are excited to kick off ATS 2023 with a keynote from Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA. Dr. Klasko is an internationally renowned expert on health care and leadership, embracing disruption to achieve health equity. During his storied career, Dr. Klasko has been dean at two medical colleges (Drexel and the University of South Florida), president of a university (Thomas Jefferson University), and CEO of two academic health systems (USF health and Jefferson Health).

He’ll share his vision for the future of medicine during the opening ceremony, at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Hall E (Level 2).

During the Opening Ceremony, attendees will be updated on the Society’s major accomplishments this past year and our priorities for the one ahead. I look forward to presenting the 2023 Public Service Award, World Lung Health Award, Jo Rae Wright Award for Outstanding Science and the inaugural J. Randall Curtis Humanism Award, as well as the latest class of ATS Fellows and Research Program awardees.

I’m also looking forward to debuting our Fran Comi Keynote Lecture series at ATS 2023, named in honor of our dear colleague who passed away after last year’s conference. Many of you met Fran over the years, but for those who did not Fran spent four decades in conference programming at ATS and was the heart and soul of her team. She is greatly missed.

We are hopeful that the Keynote Series will live up to her memory and be as inspiring and engaging as she was. The series of lectures will address pressing issues affecting our communities: equity, climate change, and gun violence. Scheduled from 8 to 8:45 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 21, through Tuesday, May 23; each day’s keynote lecture is unopposed by any other programming.

There are so many highlights at ATS 2023, but you will not want to miss our Plenary Session confronting the realities of medical misinformation featuring a keynote address by bestselling author Timothy Caulfield. Dr. Caulfield is Canada research chair in Health Law and Policy, professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and research director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.

Medical misinformation is rampant and driving personal health care decisions. Dr. Caulfield’s presentation will help attendees better understand the environment in which their patients are trying to make those decisions.

Attending this conference is not only a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest topics and developments affecting global respiratory health, but it is also an excellent opportunity to connect with your peers and build lasting relationships. I encourage you to register for the conference as soon as possible. Please visit our website for the full program and to register, if you haven’t done so already.

If you are not able to join us in Washington, I encourage you to consider “ATS 2023: On-Demand Highlights.” This package contains recordings from over 100 scientific and clinical symposia sessions presented at the conference. Keynote sessions, Clinical Year in Review, and Adult and Pediatric Core Curriculum are included. This content is free for conference attendees. Visit the ATS Store to learn more.

On a final note, this month marks my last as ATS President. The past year has been intensely rewarding; I have countless members and staff to thank for their hard work, dedication, and support. This is truly an exceptional organization with many individuals who are totally committed to our mission of accelerating global innovation in the advancement of respiratory health through multidisciplinary collaboration, education, and advocacy.

Although stepping down will be bittersweet, I will leave the role of president in the most capable hands of my successor, M. Patricia Rivera, MD, ATSF, who will be a truly outstanding leader.

I look forward to seeing you in Washington!


Gregory Downey, MD, ATSF, ATS President