Cancelled: 2020 Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to grow, together with the implementation of federal, state and local orders to limit travel to essential trips, the Conference Leadership and Chairs of the 63rd Annual Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s conference, which was due to take place in Aspen, Colorado from June 10-13, 2020.  
The 63rd Conference will now be re-scheduled to June 9-12, 2021. While the focus will remain on ARDS in the 21st Century, we anticipate that it will also be an opportunity to integrate new understanding and the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. 
We apologize for any inconvenience that this decision may have caused. If you have already made reservations at The Gant, you can obtain a full refund of your deposit provided you contact Miranda at The Gant (Tel: (970) 920-6063) by May 1, 2020. Similarly, if you are not staying at The Gant, please contact your chosen hotel.
The Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference has been in existence since 1958 and has never been cancelled until this unparalleled global health crisis. We will continue to update this website ( to provide you with information about next year’s evolving conference and hope that you will be able to join us in 2021.

David W.H. Riches, Ph.D.
Director, Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference


ARDS in the 21st Century: New Insights into Clinical and Mechanistic Heterogeneity

Eric Schmidt, M.D., Chair
Lorraine Ware, M.D., Chair
Rachel Zemans, M.D., Chair

Rescheduled: June 9-12th, 2021
The Gant Conference Center
Aspen, Colorado

On June 9-12, 2021, the 63rd Annual Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference will convene at the Gant Conference Center. The theme of the conference will be “ARDS in the 21st Century:   New Insights into Clinical and Mechanistic Heterogeneity”. The Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) represents a common syndrome arising from numerous, heterogeneous, and often-independent disease processes.  Accordingly, a single ARDS study drug, if uniformly applied to all patients regardless of underlying disease pathophysiology, would likely fail to consistently improve patient outcomes. For clinical studies to overcome this obstacle, a new appreciation of ARDS mechanistic and phenotypic heterogeneity is required, enabling future precision medicine approaches to the recognition and treatment of lung injury. 

The 2021 Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference will integrate basic, translational, and clinical approaches to address the impact of ARDS heterogeneity, with a focus on (1) understanding the presence and therapeutic significance of ARDS mechanistic and phenotypic subtypes, (2) exploring multi-cellular and multi-systemic mechanisms responsible for this heterogeneity, and (3) determining how to best account for disease heterogeneity during clinical trial design and outcome assessment. 

This Conference will bring together basic, translational, and clinical ARDS researchers while welcoming trainees in pulmonology and critical care medicine, with the goal of identifying shared interests that will lead to more productive research and more effective personalized therapies. Three Thomas L. Petty Fellow Travel Awards will be awarded to help defray the costs for female and under-represented minority fellows to present an abstract.

Call for Abstracts

We invite you and your colleagues to submit abstracts​ for consideration for a podium presentation and/or a poster at the conference. We are particularly interested in attracting translational basic or clinical research abstracts related to the selected thematic topics.

For more information, contact: Eric Schmidt, M.D., c/o Jeanne Cleary, Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference, PO Box 1622, Parker, CO 80134 Phone: (303) 358-2797. E-Mail:

Submit Abstracts


Intended Audience

Local/Regional/National/International Physicians/Clinicians (adult and pediatric)/Research Physician-Scientists in in  Pulmonary Sciences, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine/Research Scientists (PhD) in lung injury/Primary Care Physicians/General Medicine Physicians/Public Health.

We look forward to your participation in the Thomas L. Petty Aspen Lung Conference, 63rd Annual Meeting and to a combination of outstanding science and great fun. We hope that you and your colleagues can join us.

Eric Schmidt, M.D., Chair
Lorraine Ware, M.D., Chair
Rachel Zemans, M.D., Chair

Register Now

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See our Travel and Lodging page to help coordinate your visit to beautiful Aspen, Colorado.


2021 Annual Meeting

ARDS in the 21st Century:  New Insights into Clinical and Mechanistic Heterogeneity
June 9-12, 2021

2022 Annual Meeting

Lung and the Immune System: Disease Pathogenesis, Treatment, and Complications with Immunotherapy
June 8-11, 2022