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    FOCIS 2017

    Registration and abstract submission will open soon for THE meeting in translational immunology.

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The Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) exists to improve human health through immunology by fostering interdisciplinary approaches to both understand and treat immune-based diseases. Initially established as a cross-disciplinary meeting, FOCIS held its first Annual Meeting in 2011 and we look forward to seeing you at our 17th Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois!  

News & Information


FOCIS 2016 Highlights

Thank you to everyone who participated in FOCIS 2016! 

Over 800 attendees, 365 abstracts, 53 speakers, from 27 countries created an exceptional atmosphere for THE meeting for translational immunology.

Special thanks goes out to the FOCIS 2016 Scientific Program Committee for their time and talent in putting together a stellar lineup of topics and speakers.

View the FOCIS 2016 Facebook Photo Album

FOCIS Executive Office Staff Announcement

On June 1, Mike Mathy began as Interim Executive Director. Mike is an award-winning and experienced association management professional who is steeped in the FOCIS culture, as he previously served as Associate Executive Director. He has a thorough understanding of revenue generation, strategic communications and collaborative project management and has served at the helm of several educational-based non-profit organizations.


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 FOCIS 2016 Sponsors



ePub header 2016

June 15, 2016
EDITOR: Andrew H. Lichtman, MD, PhD, Brigham & Women's Hospital  EDITORIAL BOARD: Abul K. Abbas, MD, University of California, San Francisco | Carla J. Greenbaum, MD, Benaroya Research Institute | Andrew H. Lichtman, MD, PhD, Brigham & Women's Hospital

Highlights from Recent Literature

circlearrow2 Immune Stratification of SLE Patients for Targeted Therapies

Research Paper:
Romain Banchereau, et al. Personalized Immunomonitoring Uncovers Molecular Networks that Stratify Lupus Patients Cell. 2016 Apr 21;165(3):551-65. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.03.008. Epub 2016 Mar 31. PMID: 27040498.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibodies to nuclear material including ribonucleoproteins and double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). The deposition of immune complexes formed by autoantibodies can initiate immune-mediated organ damage resulting in inflammation that may occur in organs including the skin, joints, kidneys and central nervous system. Chronic disease manifestations often result in cumulative organ damage. The waxing and waning of disease contributes to the clinical heterogeneity observed in SLE. Treatments for SLE include a variety of immunosuppressive agents such as corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide that can have serious side effects. Only one therapy, belimumab, which is an anti-BAFF monoclonal antibody has been approved by the FDA in the past 50 years. The failure of numerous clinical trials for agents that target known key pathways in SLE, such as rituximab for B cells and various anti-interferon type I agents suggest that the heterogeneity observed in SLE is a major obstacle in the development of new therapies for this disease. Thus it has been proposed that patient stratification based on immune system alterations that are associated with disease features could improve clinical trial design and expedite advances in targeted therapies for SLE. The manuscript by Banchereau et al. describes the use of unbiased mixed model approaches to assess longitudinal clinical covariates and immune system transcriptional profiles (signatures) to stratify pediatric SLE patients into seven distinct groups.


  Reviewed by Laurie Davis, PhD, UT Southwestern Medical Center


Developments in Basic Immunology and Novel Therapies

circlearrow2 The Rise of Checkpoint Blockade Therapy to Front-line Cancer Therapy

The approach to checkpoint blockade therapy is to disengage immunosuppressive mechanisms within the tumor microenvironment in order to restore immune activation and unleash a robust anti-tumor T cell response for an effective and durable clinical response. This approach, specifically with anti-CTLA and/or anti-PD-1 blockade, has produced favorable clinical responses in a variety of cancers and as a result, the use of checkpoint blockade therapies have garnered significant enthusiasm for front-line cancer therapy. In the Immune Therapies article series for the FOCIS ePublication, Dr. Andrew Lichtman described the developments in cancer immunotherapy in 2011 (December 2011 FOCIS ePublication.pdf). Since 2011, the research and clinical trials utilizing checkpoint blockade therapy has grown significantly and this article updates Dr. Lichtman’s article to highlight its major achievements to date.


  Submitted by John S. Yi, PhD, Duke University Medical Center


Human Immunophenotyping Update

circlearrow2 Single-cell TCRseq

Single-cell assays have historically been some of the most powerful ways that we’ve learned about the immune system, which, after all, is a collection of individual, diverse, and interacting cells. Among the most powerful single-cell platforms are flow and mass cytometry, because of the number of parameters they can simultaneously quantify, and the rapidity with which they can collect data on a large number of cells, enabling studies of rare populations. And, as opposed to genomic techniques, they yield information at the protein, not RNA, level. However, one advantage of genomic techniques is that they can derive actual gene sequences, which are especially useful for studying polymorphic gene products like B and T cell receptors. 


  Submitted by Holden T. Maecker, PhD, Stanford University

Selected Recent Clinical Trial Results

circlearrow2 Oral Fingolimod in Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (Informs): A Phase 3, Randomised, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial 

Clinical Trial: Lublin, F, Miller D, Freedman M et.al; Lancet 2016; 387:1075-1084

Disease: Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis 


Intervention: Fingolimod or placebo. Fingolimod is an oral sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator.


  Submitted by Sandra Lord, MD, Benaroya Research Institute. Edited by Carla J. Greenbaum, MD, Benaroya Research Institute  

Thank you to the 2013 FOCIS Corporate Council:

Amgen 4 Blue      Beckman      CelgeneLogo      genentech color