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 exploit scientific advances, two major barriers need to be overcome: The translation of basic findings into clinically and medically relevant contexts, and second, the exchange of findings in immunological sciences which unify these diverse diseases through multidisciplinary approaches cutting across traditional clinical boundaries. FOCIS, the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies links 54 professional societies representing 60,000 professionals with the common vision of improving human health through immunology. This meeting provides a scientific forum that fosters a cross-disciplinary approach required to understand and treat immune-based diseases. 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 goal of the 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. FOCIS offers investigators and clinicians an opportunity to understand and translate breakthroughs in basic science and clinical applications from a variety of different fields. The meeting is also an incubator for developing scientists and practitioners 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 meetings are an ideal forum for a diverse group of new investigators to learn about the different translational approaches that are bridging the basic immunology laboratories within clinical practice. Your support from 2009-2013 played a key role in bringing women, trainees, post-docs and junior faculty members to the FOCIS Annual Meeting. FOCIS is requesting continued support from 2014-2018 because interdisciplinary collaboration and education in translational immunology will continue to be an important factor in improving human health through immunology throughout the entire period.
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.