Respiratory Innovation Summit Puts Focus on Accelerating Respiratory Discovery

After a short hiatus, the ATS Respiratory Innovation Summit is back, bringing together the innovators, investors, clinicians, and advocacy groups who are leading the charge to create powerful new treatments for deadly and crippling diseases of the lungs and airways.

Lynn M. Schnapp, MD, ATSF
Lynn M. Schnapp, MD, ATSF

Held in conjunction with the ATS 2022 International Conference in San Francisco, the Respiratory Innovation Summit serves as a platform for collaboration across industry, academia, and governmental stakeholders and focuses on accelerating innovation in three focused areas: fibrosis, inflammation, and COVID-19.

The ATS 2022 Respiratory Innovation Summit will be held at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel and requires a separate registration from the International Conference. RIS activities will take place 6-7:45 p.m. PT on Friday, May 13, and 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 14.

“The Respiratory Innovation Summit is an opportunity for global leaders and innovators from all areas of the respiratory industry to come together to share ideas and propose solutions for some of the most intractable problems in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine,” said ATS President Lynn M. Schnapp, MD, ATSF. “It’s an opportunity for innovators to connect with venture capitalists, business development, patient groups, and thought leaders who all share a common goal, and that is to advance respiratory discovery.”

Timothy Watkins, MD, MSC, vice president of clinical development at Gilead Sciences, long-time ATS member and past chair of the ATS Committee on Drug Device Discovery and Development, serves as co-chair of the 2022 Respiratory Innovation Summit alongside Cecilia Gonzalo, MBA, partner at Oberland Capital.

The Friday program begins with a networking reception featuring members of the ATS Public Advisory Roundtable, followed by dinner and a keynote address to be delivered by Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, a pioneer in medicine and leadership and a passionate advocate for health equity and improved outcomes for all patients. She has served in various leadership roles at a number of pharmaceutical companies, most recently as chief medical officer and executive vice president, and later chief patient officer, at Pfizer.

Saturday’s program includes a full day of content, showcasing 15 innovative companies, more than 50 posters from companies looking for investment, panel discussions, and networking opportunities, as well as a special Regulatory Keynote address by Robert J. Meyer, MD, principal for drug and biological products at Greenleaf Health and associate professor of public health sciences at the University of Virginia. Dr. Meyer previously served for 13 years at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including as director of the Pulmonary Division and as director of the Office of Drug Evaluation II.   


In 2019 at the Respiratory Innovation Summit, Andreas Fouras, PhD, CEO, and founder of 4DMedical, shared the company’s vision for functional lung imaging with an executive audience from the ATS, investment groups, government, and global medical device and pharmaceutical companies. The company’s novel functional lung imaging technology non-invasively tracks the motion of the lungs, determines airway volumes, and measures regional lung ventilation during spontaneous breathing, which makes assessment of lung health uniform and simple for all patients. Since then, 4DMedical has achieved FDA approval and a successful IPO.

“As an innovator, I discovered how incredibly challenging it is to translate an idea from fundamental mathematical models into a functional software technology platform and take it beyond a project to become a business,” Dr. Fouras said. “Access for everyone is at the heart of my passion for taking this technology forward, and it’s at the core of 4DMedical and everything that we do.”