The upcoming Lung Science Conference (LSC) is taking place on 9–12 March, 2023. In 2022, the 20th edition of the event marked a record attendance, and the 2023 LSC looks to build on this success with another exciting and varied programme.
Here, Silke Meiners, ERS Conferences and Research Seminars Director, tells us more about what to expect from the event.
Q: For people who are not familiar with the Lung Science Conference, can you explain a little about it, and who can benefit from the programme?
A: The LSC is the main conference of the ERS for basic scientists working in respiratory medicine. It is held annually for three days in March at the Palacio Hotel in Estoril in Portugal, which is a fantastic venue that allows an interactive and inspiring conference with about 200 onsite participants. The topic of the conference changes every year and is always a mix of lectures given by established speakers in the field, short talks by selected early career scientists, career talks and poster presentations.
The LSC not only aims to bring the best scientists together, it is particularly dedicated to support early career researchers. We do that by selecting oral presentations from abstract submissions and enabling extended poster discussions, but also by providing up to 20 bursaries and three awards that can be won. Moreover, we have dedicated career sessions as well as mentoring lunches for selected early career scientists. Most importantly, our programme leaves plenty of time for discussions, networking and fun at our famous Saturday night dinner and dance.
Q: What is the theme of this event and why was it selected?
A: This year’s topic is “Post-viral lung diseases – from basic immunology to clinical phenotypes and therapy”. The three past years of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic have accelerated research on viral infections of the lung at an incredible speed. They have provided us with exciting new insights not only on how an acute virus infection resolves but also on the potential long-term consequences of virus infections in the lung. But don’t worry, the LSC 2023 will not be a COVID-19 conference. Rather, we aim to apply this novel understanding to re-evaluate the role of viruses for the development and progression of chronic lung diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, and COPD. The concept that ineffective immune responses to virus infections have long-term consequences for the lung, might provide a fresh view on disease pathogenesis in order to identify novel targets for therapeutic interventions.
Q: This year’s event will be available for people to attend in person or online – what should be expected from either option.
A: This is right, the LSC 2023 will be a hybrid event allowing onsite but also online participation. A major highlight of attending the conference in person is the interaction and networking opportunities; you will have almost three days to meet with international experts and discuss your science and career in respiratory medicine. The location is also a beautiful one, which is a bonus. There will also be a small industry exhibition onsite. Our bursaries are intended to help early career researchers from various countries and labs to take part at the LSC in person when funding is a problem. In-person attendance is of course limited in numbers.
The online option allows participation in the conference from all over the world and opens the conference up to a much larger audience than in previous years. It is a cheaper option and though it does not offer the same level of networking opportunity, online participants will still hear excellent talks from renowned international researchers and early career scientists, and registrants can actively participate in the scientific discussion following the lectures. The chairs will include both questions from the onsite and online audience. Online participants can also take a look at all posters as we asked the poster presenters to also prepare an ePoster that is available on the virtual platform.
All participants can revisit the talks, as they will be available for three months on the event platform.
Q: The online programme looks exciting; what would you pick out as your personal highlights?
A: This is tricky, as I expect them to be all top notch and relevant for each attendee’s own research. Personally, I think that the opening lecture by Peter Openshaw on “What can we learn from acute virus infections for chronic disease?” will probably give us an excellent introduction into the general topic without focussing too much on COVID-19. This year, we have a panel discussion at the end of the conference on Sunday around 10:30 am, which should be very exciting. There, we will discuss the “LSC teachings for cause and cure of post-viral lung disease” with some of the senior experts of our conference. This will give participants a valuable wrap up of the conference but also some novel perspective for future developments and upcoming concepts.
Registration to the LSC 2023 is currently open. You can still register for the event or find out more on the official website.