FOCIS 2009 - FOCIS 2013 Understanding function and regulation of the immune system is critical for many diseases, including autoimmune diseases, cancer, allergy/asthma, infectious diseases, immune deficiency, and transplant rejection. To rapidly exploit scientific advances in this area, two major barriers need to be overcome: First, the translation of basic findings into clinically and medically relevant contexts, and second, the exchange of relevant findings in immunological sciences which unify these diverse diseases through multidisciplinary approaches which cut across traditional clinical boundaries. FOCIS, the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies, is the leading international organization which exists to meet these needs. Linking more than 20 major professional societies representing 40,000 professionals with this common vision is a service that will ensure progress towards the goal of improving human health through immunology. The FOCIS Annual Meeting provides a scientific forum that fosters a cross-disciplinary approach required to understand and treat immune-based diseases. The evolution of the immunology field is a reflection of the shared pathophysiology of many diseases, including: autoimmune diseases, cancer, allergy/asthma, infectious diseases, immune deficiency and transplant rejection. While clinicians necessarily remain linked to diseases associated with their own specialty, the immunological sciences underlying recent advances in diagnosing and treating these diverse diseases are multidisciplinary and cut across standard clinical boundaries. The ultimate goal of the FOCIS annual meeting is to create a better understanding of the shared pathophysiological underpinnings of clinical immunology and the new therapeutic approaches suggested by these novel relationships, including the increasingly widespread use of biologics in therapy. The FOCIS Annual Meeting offers investigators and clinicians an opportunity to understand and translate breakthroughs in basic science and clinical applications from a variety of different fields. In addition to highlighting the best science, the FOCIS Annual Meeting is an incubator for developing scientists and practitioners alike to meet with one another along with representatives of relevant biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Each day includes poster and oral abstract presentations to give young investigators the chance to have their work presented and critiqued. FOCIS takes a specific interest in the development of young investigators and provide travel awards to them to supplement their costs to attend the meeting. By sharing discoveries with one another, delegates acquire new ideas for research and applied science from disciplines to which they would otherwise not be exposed at disease- or organ-specific meetings. The FOCIS Annual Meeting is an ideal forum for new investigators to learn about the different translational approaches that are bridging the basic immunology laboratories within clinical practice. In addition to encouraging the participation of new investigators, FOCIS recognizes the importance of participation from a wide range of demographics. Every effort is made to include a diverse representation within the FOCIS Organizing Committee and the Annual Meeting's scientific program. The success of all eight of the previous FOCIS meetings attests to this effort. Support is now requested to support the 2009- 2013 FOCIS meetings, specifically the educational programs and travel fellowships, which will continue this valuable effort.
- Public Health Relevance Today immunology represents a critical pathway to unlock answers to treat many of today's diseases. To that end, it is important to broaden the access to educational programs to further the immunological knowledge for investigators, basic scientists and clinicians. FOCIS Annual Meetings provide a unique forum for those working in autoimmune inflammatory diseases to access each other outside of their disease specific silos and share information to further human health and provides young investigators with a voice and an opportunity for education in the growing field of clinical immunology.