History of the Kern Lipid Conference

The first Lipid Conference was organized in Aspen, Colorado, by Fred Kern, Jr., and Roland Hill, Jr., in 1977. After several meetings over the next decade, the conference was established as an annual event in 1987 and has continued, uninterrupted, to the present. Generous funding for this meeting has been obtained from the NIH, private research foundations, and pharmaceutical corporations. Indeed, both medical start-up groups and established pharmaceutical companies, as well as academic investigators, have found the conference to be a successful forum in which to share their recent investigations, obtain new information, and participate as faculty and students. Funding varies for each conference and is formally acknowledged in the annual program. The Lipid Conference was formulated with the following considerations:

  • To promote science that relates to the broad areas of lipid, cholesterol, bile acid, and lipoprotein metabolism and the pathobiologies associated with disordered lipid metabolism.
  • To enroll (as at least 25% of the participants) "younger" scientists (at the level of assistant professor or below in career development) to allow these individuals the opportunity to discuss up-to-date research on a one-to-one basis with established scientists.
  • To provide an open forum where scientists from both academia and industry could meet and discuss science related to lipid metabolism.
  • To provide a unique meeting format in which 50% of the time is devoted to formal presentations and 50% of the time is devoted to open discussions of each topic.
  • The name of the conference was recently established as the Kern Lipid Conference, in recognition of its founder and leading proponent, Dr. Fred Kern, Jr., who lead the meeting through its first twenty years. The Kern Lipid Conference now meets annually in Vail, Colorado, in July or August, and admits an attendance limited to approximately 120 participants. A detailed history of the conference and its meetings is available below.

    Forty Years in the Making: Kern Lipid Conference History (1977-2017)