The Study Group Veterinary Immunology (VIA) was founded in 1993 as one of the first study groups of the German Society for Immunology (DGfI). The prelude to this was a symposium organised by Prof. Wolfgang Leibold at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, in which more than 50 speakers from Germany and Holland represented the whole spectrum of immunology in veterinary medicine. On the occasion of this symposium, the VIA was founded and Wolfgang Leibold was elected as its first speaker. Since then, the VIA has hosted an annual workshop as part of the DGfI Annual Meeting and has also organised numerous national and international meetings and symposia.
The aim of the VIA is to provide a forum for discussion and information for all scientists working on issues related to the function and dysfunction of the immune system in farm and companion animals, such as dogs and cats, rabbits, birds and fish. The annual meetings of the study group serve as a central event, supplemented by animal species-specific, method-oriented and disease-related events. The close connection to the DGfI is a central concern of the VIA, as this ensures an intensive exchange with colleagues in basic research on the mouse model and clinical immunology in human medicine. New developments and findings can thus find their way into immunology in domestic and farm animals more quickly and efficiently.
In addition, the members of the VIA see themselves as contact persons for all scientists who have questions about immunology in vertebrates beyond classical models and humans and who work on aspects of comparative immunology.