This book is the result of a symposium by the same title held in Nashville, Tennessee on March 9-10, 1989 to commemorate the establishment of the Center for Lung Research at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The symposium was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and The Upjohn Company and was attended by approximately 100 scientists and clinician from throughout the United States.

The purpose of the symposium was to bring together clinical investigators interested and expert in respiratory distress in the newborn, people expert in the adult respiratory distress syndrome, and basic scientists whose investigations are were relevant to lung injury. The hope was that comparison and contrast of the adult and newborn disorders and relating basic observations to clinical problems would provide new insights relevant to both basic and clinical investigation. Those attending the symposium felt that the goals were accomplished. This book is intended to share the information presented with a broader audience in a format that encourages the reader to engage in the same intellectual process enjoyed by those attending the symposium.