The Americas Association of Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders (AASOG) is a physician and physician-scientist led organization that is devoted to improving the pathogenesis and treatment of patients with sarcoidosis, a poorly understood disease that commonly afflicts underrepresented minorities. AASOG is a subsidiary of the World Association of Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders (WASOG), which is based in Europe and was founded in 1987. AASOG has previously sponsored 5 annual national meetings, and the 6th annual meeting represents a departure from the previous AASOG events (and other forums relating to sarcoidosis) in that the program will have a specific theme, as reflected by the meeting title: Sarcoidosis Health Care Disparities and Clinical Research Challenges. In this context, a majority of the invited participants are underrepresented minorities, and many of the attendees have not previously participated in AASOG sponsored activities and are junior faculty or trainees. The focus on underrepresented minorities extends beyond the invited participants in that the low registration fees will make this meeting highly accessible to underrepresented minorities. Trainee participation in the meeting will be further encouraged by waiving registration fees and providing travel awards to 5 students based upon the quality of their research presentations. Furthermore, the highly interactive scientific environment and engagement with well-established research scientists will be conducive to their career development. This meeting will thereby encourage and promote the development of new scientists dedicated to the advancement of sarcoidosis research and treatment. Thus, the 2014 AASOG meeting will support a variety of activities that are directly relevant to the scientific missions of the National Institutes of Health and public health.
The focus of the 2014 meeting of the Americas Association of Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders (AASOG) is directly applicable to the scientific missions supported by the National Institutes of Health relating to seeking fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. The 2014 AASOG meeting further conforms to the mission of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute relating to collaboration with health care professionals, scientists, professional societies, and patient advocacy groups to promote the application of research results and leverage resources to address public health needs.