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 43 major professional societies representing 60,000 professionals with this common vision is a service that will ensure progress towards the goal of improving human health through immunology. FOCISed FOCIS exists to improve human health through immunology. Consistent with this mission, FOCIS created the educational portfolio (FOCISed) to foster the training and education of basic and clinical scientists in interdisciplinary approaches to perform the best research, develop new tools and provide new insights into immunological diseases. Please see an overview of each FOCISed course below: Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology Students in this course include clinical fellows, trainees and researchers in the pharmaceutical industry, and practicing academic physicians who need to enhance their understanding of immunology. Invited speakers lecture on the major topics in cellular and molecular immunology, including innate immunity, B cells, T cells and cytokines. Special sessions cover new advances in interventional clinical immunology and the molecular and genetic basis of immunologically-mediated diseases. There is ample opportunity for students to interact with the faculty outside the lecture room. Interventional Immunology The Interventional Immunology course provides education on the many new therapies that are currently available or in development which are based on targets that are unfamiliar to many practicing physicians. There is potentially great value for, but lack of, cross-disciplinary reviews of these types of therapies. The content of this course includes a review of the scientific basis for choice of immunologically related therapeutic targets in various diseases, including organ specific and systemic autoimmunity, allergy, transplant rejection, cancer and HIV. The goal is to help attendees understand the rationale and mechanism underlying the major pharmacologic approaches for interventional immunology in their current practice and review the track record of the different therapeutic approaches in different specialties. Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update This course was launched in 2002 because of the realization that the rapid pace of research is leading to fundamental advances in the understanding of immune responses and their abnormalities. Staying abreast of these advances is essential for practitioners of medicine and for researchers in academia and industry. As new immunotherapeutic strategies are being developed and adopted, it is important to understand the rationale behind these therapies, and this also requires an appreciation of the fundamentals of immunology. This course is designed to provide a sophisticated review of selected basic principles, and an update on new advances, especially those that are most relevant to human disease.
FOCIS Educational Portfolio (FOCISed) Mission To create educational programs that maintain, develop and increase the knowledge, understanding, skills and professional performance of trainees and investigators in the broad field of clinical immunology, and to enable basic scientists to understand the pathogenesis of immunological disease and the principles of clinical research. Goals ? Increase the number of clinical trainees who attend the FOCIS annual meeting ? Partner with member societies and industry to deliver interdisciplinary educational programs ? Increase number of graduate school programs in translational immunology ? Drive the establishment of educational programs in translational immunology ? Increase the number of institutions that institute FOCIS-developed programs ? Facilitate and enhance an exchange of approaches and technologies among established consortia focused on different immunologically-mediated diseases