The upcoming Lung Science Conference (LSC) is taking place on 10–13 March, 2022. As well as celebrating its 20th edition, the event will mark a welcome return to the European Respiratory Society’s (ERS) in-person activities.
Here, Reinoud Gosens, ERS Conferences and Research Seminars Director, tells us more about what to expect from the event and how it has evolved.
Q: For people who are not familiar with the ERS Lung Science Conference, can you explain a little about it?
A: “The LSC is a basic and translational sciences conference organised annually by ERS. It strives to offer only the very best science in a specific area that is chosen as the focus topic of that conference. I believe that LSC is one of the leading conferences of its kind in Europe and it is widely recognised for its quality.”
Q: Who is the conference aimed at and who can benefit from the programme?
A: “The conference will feature mostly basic and translational science presentations but is open to basic, translational and clinical scientists. As the theme of the conference varies from year to year, those researchers interested in that particular theme will likely benefit most. However, for researchers not working in that area, it is a unique opportunity to learn on the state-of-the art of the theme in a very effective way.
In addition to the science, the conference features a mentorship program and session dedicated to early career investigators. For many early career investigators, the LSC has been a platform where they present their work, whilst benefiting from networking and mentorship opportunities.”
Q: What is the theme of this event and why was it selected (or why is it important)?
A: “This year’s theme is Mucosal immunology of the lung: balancing protective immunity and chronic inflammation. It was selected as it was felt that a conference on the interplay between immune responses and structural cells of the lung is fundamental to many chronic respiratory diseases that we study, including asthma, COPD, lung cancer, fibrosis etc. Moreover, this interplay is fundamental to both the inception, progression and treatment of these diseases.”
Q: How has the LSC developed since it began and what does that mean for this year’s conference?
A: “Originally, LSC has always been an in-person event with around 150-200 participants onsite. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, we have been forced to offer the event online last year. This year, we will offer the event as a hybrid conference, allowing both onsite and online participation. We believe we can better serve the community this way, as the participation in last year’s online meeting (>400 participants) clarified that the interest in the meeting is much larger than the onsite participation we had seen in the past. It illustrates that many researchers around the world may not have the financial means or are restricted in other ways to participate in the meeting. By offering the event online, the outreach of the conference will be higher and we hope to welcome many interested researchers, both onsite and online.”
Q: For the first time, this event will be available for people to attend in person or online – what should be expected from either option.
A: “The online participants will have access to the presentations via live streaming, and to the posters via the e-poster platform. Moreover, for the junior participants, there will be the option to participate in online mentorship meetings.
However, not every option can be offered online for obvious reasons. The onsite participants will have additional benefits from the local mentorship lunch, the networking opportunities during the breaks, and the poster sessions onsite.”
Q: The final programme has just been released; what would you pick out as your personal highlights?
A: “Ah, this is a very difficult question as I see only excellent talks and would recommend seeing all of them. Given the current Covid-19 crisis, I am probably particularly interested in the interplay between infections and immunity. In addition, I much look forward to the talks on the single cell genomics as I believe they will reveal entirely new insights into physiology and mechanisms of disease.”