Each year at the ASA Annual Meeting in October, Anesthesiology sponsors a special “Journal Symposium” to highlight emerging and important concepts in anesthesia research and clinical practice. Specific areas of focus in the past have included vascular biology, toxicity of inhaled and local anesthetics, awareness during anesthesia, biology of sleep, acute respiratory failure, chronic pain, and, in 2003, preconditioning against ischemia and reperfusion injury. The Symposium typically features two to four invited lectures by international experts from both inside and outside of our specialty, as well as a formal poster-discussion session. The posters are selected by a group of Anesthesiology Editors from among all of the thousands of abstracts submitted to the meeting.

The Journal Symposium for October 2004 is entitled

Pharmacogenomics is the application of genomic concepts and technologies to the study of drug action, drug targets, pharmacokinetics, and therapeutic response. It integrates the latest advances in genomics into clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, to determine how genetic variation affects the ways in which patients respond to drugs. Pharmacogenomics is a subject of intense interest. Understanding the genetic factors responsible for interindividual variability in drug response and drug toxicity promises a future in which drug selection and dosing may become individualized. Nevertheless, this field is emerging, and one purpose of this Symposium is to encourage the research that will help realize these promises.

Investigators from around the world with an interest in this subject are encouraged to submit their work to the ASA for the Annual Meeting. Abstracts demonstrating the genetic determinants of drug disposition, drug effect, and clinical outcome are particularly encouraged and are not limited specifically to anesthetic agents. Pharmacogenomics is a broad field; abstracts from basic and clinical sciences are encouraged. Abstracts will be selected for inclusion in the Symposium by the Symposium organizers, Dr. Margaret Wood of The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, and Dr. Evan Kharasch of the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Abstracts should be submitted via  the usual on-line process (which can be accessed via  the Web sites www.ASAhq.organd www.anesthesiology.org). Interested individuals should check the special box in the abstract submission form to indicate interest in consideration for the Journal Symposium.

Anesthesiology, in conjunction with the American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (ASCCA), is pleased to announce a special session at the 2004 ASA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada. This forum will serve two purposes. The first is to highlight new and innovative research in Critical Care Medicine. Of even greater importance is our desire to promote the value of mentored research training. To this end, the session will feature oral presentations by junior investigators (i.e. , those with a rank of Assistant Professor or below and less than 7 yr in rank) whose work has direct bearing on the art and science of Critical Care. Each investigator’s talk will be followed by a short presentation by his or her mentor. The mentor’s talk will highlight how the presented work fits into the overall scheme of investigation in the mentor’s laboratory and how it will contribute to our understanding of any aspect of Critical Care Medicine. Participation by the audience will be encouraged.

Investigators involved in all types of research, including but not limited to basic science, clinical investigations, outcomes-based studies, epidemiology, and safety-oriented investigations, are invited to submit their best work for consideration. A committee consisting of Journal Editors and representatives of the ASCCA will select the presenters. Our goal is to gather a large number of individuals with an interest in Critical Care and its importance to the practice of Anesthesiology.

Abstracts should be submitted to the ASA Annual Meeting using standard criteria. However, only those identifying Critical Care as the major subject area will be considered for this special session. In addition, authors should notify the Anesthesiology office (anesthesiology@uiowa.edu) or the ASCCA President (deutschcl@uphs.upenn.edu) regarding their interest in being considered for this session.