Support is requested for a Keystone Symposia meeting entitled Advances in the Knowledge and Treatment of Autoimmunity, organized by Juan Rivera, Virginia Pascual and David M. Lee. The meeting will be held in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, from April 4 - 9, 2013. The general topic of this meeting is relevant to the NIAID mission with respect to the broad area of autoimmunity. Understanding the mechanisms by which tolerance is induced and circumvented is important for the development of new therapies for autoimmune disorders. While significant progress has been made in understanding the basic processes of both central and peripheral tolerance, the integration of these mechanisms in the context of the pathogenesis of autoimmunity is still in its infancy. In the past few years, considerable effort has been made in bringing together the fundamental mechanisms, the genetics and genomics, the cellular players, and the clinical features of disease towards developing novel therapeutic strategies. These efforts have also advanced our understanding of the pathogenesis of autoimmunity and revealed new players and potential therapeutic strategies in treatment of autoimmunity. The goal of this Keystone Symposia meeting on Advances in the Knowledge and Treatment of Autoimmunity is to bring together scientists and clinicians to discuss what we are learning from the information obtained from mouse models, patient studies and the use of novel targeted therapies. Both common and unique immune-mediated mechanisms leading to autoimmune diseases will be highlighted. The meeting will cover advances in genomic and cellular approaches, biomarker discovery, and in targeted therapies. The accompanying workshops will be designed to promote interactions and collaborations between academic and R &D scientists to respond to the challenges in this area. Opportunities for interdisciplinary interactions will be significantly enhanced by the concurrent meeting on Immunopathology of Type 1 Diabetes, which will share a keynote session and two plenary sessions with this meeting.
Although considerable progress has been made in dissecting many of the mechanisms that underlie immune function, our understanding of the immunopathologies of diverse human autoimmune diseases remain incomplete. Research on the pathways of human immune regulation and their contributions to disease pathophysiology remains the foundation on which future safe and effective treatments will be developed. The goal of the 2013 Keystone Symposia meeting on Advances in the Knowledge and Treatment of Autoimmunity is to bring together the basic and clinical scientific community to discuss new basic immune mechanisms, their relevance to autoimmune diseases, and the translation of new discoveries into future approaches to treatment.