Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening illness characterized by a complex pathophysiology, involving not only the respiratory system but also nonpulmonary distal organs. Although advances in the management of ARDS have led to a distinct improvement in ARDS-related mortality, ARDS is still a life-threatening respiratory condition with long-term consequences. A better understanding of the pathophysiology of this condition will allow us to create a personalized treatment strategy for improving clinical outcomes. In this article, we present a general overview p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and recent advances in understanding its functions. We consider the potential of the pharmacological targeting of p38MAPK pathways to treat ARDS.