Two decades of bridging immunological divides

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Science Immunology  02 Oct 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 52, eabe6004
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abe6004

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Cofounders Garry Fathman (left) and David Hafler (right) received FOCIS Founder Awards in 2010 to commemorate the organization’s 10th anniversary.


The history of the Federation of Clinical Immunological Societies (FOCIS) began with an inaugural meeting in 2001 in Boston. An annual meeting has taken place every year since, and this tradition will continue in 2020 despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Annual Meeting of FOCIS, to be held virtually on 28 to 31 October 2020, will mark the 20th meeting of an organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the field of translational immunology. FOCIS arrives at this milestone as a federation of 59 member societies representing around 65,000 clinician scientists.

Science Immunology has been a partner of FOCIS since the journal’s inception in 2016. FOCIS is a Strategic Contributor to Science Immunology, with a group of FOCIS members writing the Editors’ Choice commentaries on recently published immunology research findings that are featured in the journal each month.

The editors of Science Immunology congratulate the FOCIS organization and their member societies for their accomplishments in bridging the divide between basic immunology research and disease-focused clinical research. This federation of a diverse group of immunology societies has also built bridges between clinical scientists representing discrete subspecialty areas who have a shared interest in understanding the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases and bringing new immune-based therapies into the clinic to benefit their patients.

At the 2019 FOCIS Annual Meeting in Boston, I had the opportunity to interview David Hafler, M.D. and C. Garrison Fathman, M.D., the cofounders of FOCIS. A major focus in these conversations was chronicling the …

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