Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases:Journal of the COPD Foundation

Running Head: In Gratitude

Citation: Thomashow B, Carlomagno CG. In gratitude to James D. Crapo. Chronic Obstr Pulm Dis. 2020; 7(3): 134-135. doi:

In Gratitude

JCOPDF-2020-0177-Figure1In late 2013, James D. Crapo, MD, and the late John W. Walsh, founder of the COPD Foundation, began to dream of a journal not only devoted to furthering our understanding of COPD through the publication of original research, reviews and communications, but a journal open to all—with no barriers to access.

Fueled by dissatisfaction with the status quo and the inspiration of what could be, James and John enlisted a global editorial board of COPD experts to join them on their quest and in May of 2014, on the Foundation’s 10th anniversary, launched this journal, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation (JCOPDF).

That first issue, in keeping with the Foundation’s 10th anniversary celebration, included reviews of progress in COPD research and medicine over the previous decade—2004 to 2014—as well as identifying challenges for the future. COPD experts from around the globe (England, Scotland, Netherlands, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Korea) and across the states, showed their support and commitment to this young journal by authoring these reviews along with the Journal’s first original research articles and Pipeline and Journal Club columns.

Those who knew him know that John’s passion was contagious and once he realized the pulmonary community’s desire for an open access COPD journal, he was driven to make it happen. However, launching a medical/scientific journal is no small feat and it would be James’ experience as a past editor and associate editor (COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and Experimental Lung Research) and his exemplary reputation within the respiratory community (past president of the American Thoracic Society, former chair of the Department of Medicine at National Jewish Health, former Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Duke University and the current co-principal investigator of the COPD Genetic Epidemiology study) that would make the idea a feasible, doable reality.

In that first issue, James declared, “an important goal of the JCOPDF is to give a strong voice to the clinical community attempting to manage this disease and to optimally foster interactions between this community and those doing the basic science to better define its pathogenesis and those who are focused on the development of new therapies.”

Six years, 26 issues and 277 articles later the JCOPDF has seen tremendous growth under James’ leadership. During his tenure, the Journal has maintained a fierce commitment to publishing quality, original research through a rigorous peer review process. The Journal received validation of its commitment to quality when it was selected, as a young journal, to be indexed by PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus and Web of Science—a testament to James’ strong leadership and careful stewardship of the Journal during these critical early years.

Another hallmark of James’ tenure as Editor in Chief included ensuring the Journal was the publishing home for essential COPD-related manuscripts:

  • Original research focused on treatment options, biomarkers, comorbidities, COPD phenotypes and genotypes, patient quality of life measurement, readmissions, exacerbations, health care utilization, COPD screening and classification, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, lung volume reduction surgery, endobronchial valves, race and gender disparities and much more.
  • Important patient/clinical care guidelines including the COPD Pocket Consultant Guide launched in 2014 and updated in 2017 and 2019 and the 2016 critical update to the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Clinical Practice Guidelines (the first in 13 years).
  • Updates from significant COPD trials, studies and programs including SHINE, ILLUMINATE, NHANES, UPLIFT, CAPNETZ, GEM2, the BRFSS, FLIGHT, QUANTUM, ASCENT, EXACT, SPIROMICS, GOLDEN, IMPACT, the COPD Biomarkers Qualification Consortium and the COPDGene study.
  • Abstracts, summaries and reviews from important COPD conferences and symposiums through the years: the international COPD9 and COPD10 conferences and its counterpart, COPD9usa and COPD10usa; the National COPD Readmissions Summits; the Alpha-1 Foundation’s annual research conference; the 3rd World Bronchiectasis conference.

While, with this issue we say good-bye to James as Editor in Chief, his legacy will remain with the Journal itself, the editorial board and dedicated staff. In fact, James will continue to make his impact on the COPD Foundation as earlier this month the Board of Directors appointed him Chairman of the Board and interim CEO. As he takes on these new leadership roles he must step aside as Editor in Chief of the Journal.

Mark Dransfield, MD, has been appointed the new Editor in Chief. Dr. Dransfield is the William C. Bailey Endowed Chair in Pulmonary Disease and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and staff physician at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. In addition, he serves as the Medical Director of the UAB Lung Health Center. Dr. Dransfield has served as an associate editor of the Journal since 2017 and on the Editorial Board since the Journal’s inception.

The COPD Foundation and the Journal remain forever grateful to James for his exemplary leadership as the Journal’s founding Editor in Chief for the past 6 years. The Journal that James envisioned, started and grew, we are confident will be nurtured, expanded and strengthened by Mark.

On behalf of us all—the COPD Foundation Board of Directors and staff, this Journal’s Editorial Board, COPD researchers, scientists and clinicians and the entire COPD community of patients and their families—thank you James for your vision, leadership and service as our founding Editor of this, our Journal of the COPD Foundation.


  • In Gratitude to James D. Crapo

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