Lung Science Conference 2024: Q&A with ERS ECM Committee Chair, Dr Sara Cuevas Ocaña

"You do not want to miss the opportunity for career development at the next Lung Science Conference"

The upcoming Lung Science Conference (LSC) will take place on 14–17 March, 2024 in Estoril, Portugal and online; its theme is ‘Development of chronic lung diseases: from life-spanning mechanisms to preventive therapy’.

Here, Dr Sara Cuevas Ocaña, ERS Early Career Members Committee Chair explains what delegates can expect from the event and why it is so important for early career respiratory professionals.

Q: For people who are not familiar with the ERS Lung Science Conference, can you explain a little bit about it?

The Lung Science Conference is a smaller, more concentrated event compared with the ERS Congress. Key people in the fields of basic and translational science, as well as clinicians with a translational focus, get together to discuss the latest research findings, to network with experts in the field at all career stages and to potentially establish new collaborations.

For early career professionals, this provides a great opportunity to meet leaders in the field who otherwise they would not get many chances to meet. For more senior researchers this conference is a valuable opportunity to have a dedicated time and place to interact and discuss new research and ideas with enthusiastic early career scientists and experts.

Each Lung Science Conference has a theme; for 2024 this is ‘Development of chronic lung diseases: from life-spanning mechanisms to preventive therapy’. This is particularly relevant because it put respiratory diseases into context, considering every aspect that affects respiratory health from birth until later stages in life, including many of the mechanisms on which basic scientists focus their research.

In addition, there will be further talks and discussions on preventive therapies, particularly during the Sunday morning programme, which will be of particular interest to clinicians.

Q: What are the benefits of attending for early career researchers; what will they gain from coming to a conference like this?

ERS is very focused on enriching the experience of early career scientists within the respiratory field, and the Lung Science Conference is one of the best opportunities for early career professionals to enhance their career development.

If your work has been selected for presentation at the Lung Science Conference, you will have the opportunity to present your work as an oral or poster presentation; there will also be several networking events at which most attendees get together to discuss research and other aspects of respiratory medicine. There are also several mentoring opportunities offered by leaders in the field.

The conference’s dedicated early career delegates session will focus on ‘The power of collaboration’ where we will discuss how, when and with whom to successfully establish new collaborations. There are also quite a few travel bursaries and awards available to those who have submitted outstanding abstracts and delivered exceptional presentations.

Q: How does the Lung Science Conference format benefit early career scientists?

One of the benefits of having such an event, where there is only one programme that everyone attends instead of many parallel sessions, is the feeling of being part of the whole conference.

Having this format is of particular benefit to early career scientists and other early career professionals as everyone attends the same sessions and the same networking events and shares lunches, dinners and social events. By the end of the conference, most attendees would have interacted with each other and those with mutual interests will definitely have had a chance to discuss their work.

The nature of the smaller event means that you have a higher chance of being selected to showcase your work as an oral or a poster presentation. There is also more chance of being nominated for, or winning, a Lung Science Conference award.

The smaller event, unique programme and social, collaborative nature of the event also ensure that this conference achieves a familiar feeling that will be hard to forget for years to come. The Lung Science Conference environment is ideal to foster key collaborations aiming to achieve the next big developments in respiratory medicine.

Q: This event is particularly beneficial for early career professionals, however it is also suitable for all career stages – do you think this mixture of age groups and career stages benefits all attendees?

I would say that if you are at the very early stages of your career in respiratory medicine, attending the Lung Science Conference 2024 would be the best entry into this exciting field, and the opportunity to identify and interact with key leaders that would help you further develop your career. You will find a very enriching environment and will feel comfortable approaching worldwide leaders in the field of respiratory medicine, either for research or for career conversations.

If you are between career stages, you do not want to miss the opportunity to help yourself develop at the next Lung Science Conference. The planned networking events, the mentoring programme and social events will help you establish potentially key collaborations in your next career steps.

If you are the later stages of your career, you will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the opportunity to find the support to transition to more senior roles within the ERS and in the respiratory field, and to listen and interact with earlier career experts who are developing the newest advances. So, there is no career stage that will not benefit from attending the Lung Science Conference 2024!


View the programme for the ERS Lung Science Conference 2024.


Register for the ERS Lung Science Conference 2024.


For information about the event, visit the Lung Science Conference 2024 homepage.