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Science and research are among the core values of the American Thoracic Society and its Foundation. Science forms the foundation for the care that our members provide to their patients. Science also provides essential means for understanding health and disease, discovering cures and improving the quality of life of the patients whom we serve. The ATS and its foundation support and disseminate the latest advances in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine through the Society's three scientific journals and its annual International Conference, which brings together leading clinicians and researchers in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.
In late 2002, the ATS Board of Directors voted unanimously to create a new Research Program, further enhancing its strong commitment to the ideals of research. In 2004, the ATS Board also established the ATS Foundation to secure a strong funding base of support for the program. Since then, the ATS Foundation Research Program has steadily grown and continues to thrive. The program's goals are to foster new research initiatives, develop investigators' careers, enhance the visibility of the ATS in the medical research arena and establish strong collaborations between the ATS and other organizations that support respiratory, critical care and sleep research. The ATS Foundation Research Program provides "seed funding" for junior investigators early in their research careers, which supports early stage investigators working in collaboration with more established investigators. Since its inception, ATS support of research has grown from approximately $100,000 to more than $1.5 million per year. Since the ATS is an international organization, ATS members from all geographic areas are eligible to apply for ATS research grants.