Since the identification of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in 1973, thousands of clinical and laboratory studies have provided evidence demonstrating that prenatal alcohol exposure can result in numerous adverse effects in multiple domains, affecting virtually every system of the body, and impacting day to day functioning. Alcohol is teratogenic across a wide variety of species and conditions of exposure, independent of social, ethnic or cultural background. The term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) encompasses the broad range of alcohol?s adverse effects. Furthermore, the prevalence of FASD may be as high as 1.1 - 5.0%, which is significantly higher than that of other common disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down Syndrome. Clearly, FASD is an international public health, education, economic, and social concern; it can result in lifelong issues and individuals may need lifelong support. Hence, the urgent need for better recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of this disorder. The International Conferences on FASD hosted annually by University of British Columbia Interprofessional Continuing Education provide a unique venue where researchers from around the world can come together to interact, learn, exchange ideas, and share scientific findings not only with each other, but also with professionals in the FASD field and the stakeholder community. As one of the premier conferences in the FASD field, they are unique in bringing together a multi-disciplinary scientific and professional audience with family members/caregivers and individuals with FASD themselves, who all participate actively in these conferences. Conferences are held annually in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and alternate in focus yearly. The 2020 and 2022 conferences will focus on adolescents and adults: the 9th and 10th International Research Conferences on Adolescents and Adults with FASD - Review, Respond and Relate - Integrating Research, Policy and Practice Around the World. The 2021 and 2023 conferences will focus on advanced research in the areas of epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis and intervention: the 9th and 10th International Conferences on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder - Research, Results and Relevance - Integrating Research, Policy and Promising Practice Around the World. The next conference is scheduled for April 22-25, 2020; dates for the others remain to be set. This grant requests partial travel and registration support toward the next four conferences in order to grow the attendance of young US investigators and support select investigators from foreign, underrepresented countries with developing alcohol research programs to promote collaborations with US scientists. Funding is also requested to cover a portion of the extensive audiovisual expenses which assist with the dissemination of content.
Prenatal alcohol exposure can result in numerous adverse effects, impacting virtually every system of the body, and affecting day to day functioning, thus making it an international public health, education, economic and social concern. The International Conferences on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) hosted by University of British Columbia Interprofessional Continuing Education provide unique opportunities for researchers from around the world to come together to interact, exchange ideas, and share scientific findings not only with each other, but also with professionals from multiple disciplines in the FASD field and with the stakeholder community, including families/caregivers and individuals with FASD themselves. This grant will provide partial travel and registration support to increase the attendance of young US investigators, as well as investigators from foreign, underrepresented countries with developing alcohol research programs to promote collaborations with US scientists, allowing scientific exchange that will advance knowledge, support new and ongoing collaborations, and ultimately influence policy and practice in the FASD field.