Mitchell A. Olman, MA, MD
On behalf of the Executive Committee, I would personally like to welcome all ATS Assembly on Allergy, Inflammation, and Immunology (AII) members both new and old to what promises to be an exciting time in our assembly. We are one of the largest and most diverse among the ATS family of assemblies. Our members have a broad range of interests that include basic science, translational science, and clinical expertise with a focus on integrating fundamental research with clinical practice to improve healthcare outcomes. Our members study the pathobiology of respiratory disease and their treatments that run the gamut from asthma to zygomycoses and hail from near and far from Aberdeen to Zurich. We focus our efforts on understanding the causes and treatments of diseases such as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, acute lung injury, and on understanding the genetic and immunologic basis of lung diseases, transplantation immunology and the processes of repair of the injured lung at the basic biological, animal model and translational levels. Upon surveying the excellent success of our assembly members in their presentations of exciting work at the international conference, and in current and new initiatives, it is obvious we have an incredible talent pool. We are truly fortunate to have an assembly with both the wisdom of experience and the enthusiasm of youth to propel us forward with aplomb.
We have largely weathered the recent financial storms of the recession and changes in the rules for industry support, and thus more focused on the core AII/ATS mission. Namely, we aim to enhance prevention, treatment and cures of lung diseases through research, education, and advocacy. In doing so, we are committed to including and fostering the career development of young members, including students, fellows and junior faculty, as well as our international members and colleagues. In fact, our mentoring program serves as a model for other assemblies.
During my tenure as assembly chair I would like to build on several of the successful initiatives undertaken during Dr. Downey’s leadership. These include the early career professionals/mentoring program, the web journal club, social media communications, and would like to expand the outreach and resource pooling (both human and financial) with other like-minded assemblies, and with our international sister societies. These efforts have already borne fruit as a combined effort of the science core, and outreach by the program committee this year resulted in a record number of programmed sessions at this year’s international conference. Further, the first joint AII/RCMB Assembly reception allowed for a synergistic increase in the number of attendees, and hopefully led to cross-fertilization and new ideas. These are outstanding examples of the philosophy that together we are stronger. We have many venues for involvement for all of our members and look forward to having you join us. Most importantly, your assembly is here to serve your needs. If you have any thoughts and/or suggestions for new initiatives, or how to improve current initiatives, please feel free to email them to aii.thoracic.org and we will respond.
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Mitchell A. Olman, MA, MD, Assembly Chair
Bethany Moore, PhD, Assembly Chair-Elect
Anne I. Sperling, PhD, Program Chair
Anndrew Fontenot, MD, Program Chair-Elect
Gustavo Matute-Bello, MD, Planning Chair
Matthew C. Exline, MD, Web Director
Praveen Akuthota, MD, Web Director Co-Chair
Craig P. Hersh, MD, MPH, Chair, Section on Genetics & Genomics
Blanca E. Himes, MD, MPH, Co-Chair, Section on Genetics & Genomics
Njira Lugogo, MD (Chair) and Ross Vlahos, PhD (Co-Chair) International Relations Working Group