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News & Information

Immunology Catalyst Sabbatical Program at GSK

You're invited to apply for the Elion and Black Immunology Catalyst Sabbatical Program at GSK!

GSK is a global pharmaceutical company with a portfolio of innovative medicines and vaccines. Cutting edge immunology research, both in house and through collaboration underpins the discovery of new medicines for many of our disease areas, such as autoimmunity, cancer, metabolic disease, infection and respiratory disease http://www.gsk.com/en-gb/research/. To take Industry-Academic collaboration in immunology to the next level, GSK is launching a new and unique model of sabbatical-based collaboration, designed to drive major breakthroughs in applied immunology and broaden scientific insight.


New Computational Immunology Course among FOCISed Lineup at FOCIS 2015!

FOCIS is excited to announce Computational Immunology, a new educational course, to be offered June 23 in San Diego prior to FOCIS 2015! This new course is aimed at scientists involved or interested in the use of multi-dimensional data generated by modern genomics and proteomics technologies such as mass/flow cytometry, next-generation sequencing and microarrays. The course will also provide a better basic understanding of modern statistical and mathematical concepts necessary for their analysis and interpretation.


All Articles...




FOCIS ePub Header

March 20, 2015

EditorAndrew 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

Modulation of CD4+ T Cell Metabolism Improves Lupus

Research paper: Yiming, Y., et al, Normalization of CD4+ T cell metabolism reverses lupus. Science Translational Medicine. 7, 274ra18 (2015).

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multi-organ autoimmune disease driven in part by CD4+ T cells. Abnormalities in T cell metabolism have been noted previously but the roles of these abnormalities in the disease process remain uncharacterized. In this report, authors documented two metabolic abnormalities observed in both SLE mouse models and in SLE patients and demonstrated that normalization of these abnormalities improved disease symptoms in mice and reduced inflammatory cytokine production by human T cells.


Highlights from Clinical Immunology, Official Journal of FOCIS

Double Negative Epigenetics

A review of: Renaura, P.A. et al. The DNA methylation signature of human TCRαβ+CD4-CD8-double negative T cells reveals CG demethylayion and a unique epigenetic architecture permissive to a broad stimulatory immune response. Clinical Immunology 156, 19-27. PMID: 25451162

Peripheral TCR αβCD4-CD8- "double negative" T cells (DN T) are a poorly understood subset of T cells which appear to have TCR-dependent regulatory functions against single positive effector T cells in healthy individuals but are expanded and have a pro-inflammatory phenotype in patients with various auto-immune diseases. In this paper, the authors characterized DNA methylation (the "methylome") of DN T cells and used bioinformatics tools to look for patterns of of immune activity and regulation.


Human Immunophenotyping Update

Publishing Flow Cytometry Data

J. Philip McCoy, Jr. PhD, National Institute of Health

All too often I have read papers in highly respected journals where data from flow cytometric experiments are published in a manner that makes me cringe. Generally, the methods section reads 'we performed FACS on these cells' with no other experimental detail. The results generally show a figure with one or more dot plots having no scales or labels on the axes. Why do these make me cringe? I cringe because there is little chance of anyone being able to duplicate the authors' results given this paucity of information, and the lack of replication would lead to skepticism over the data and conclusions.


Developments in Basic Immunology and Novel Therapies

B Cell Depletion Therapy For Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases

Shiv Pillai, PhD, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard; Harvard Medical School

B cell depletion using a monoclonal antibody to CD20, a B cell surface protein whose function remains poorly defined, was first conceived of as a therapeutic strategy to treat B cell lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Although this approach is still utilized for the treatment of B cell malignancies, B cell depletion has since emerged as a powerful way to treat a number of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, including certain disorders that are generally believed to be caused by T cells. The initial anti-CD20 antibody used for therapy was a chimeric antibody called Rituximab. Rituximab remains the major B cell depleting reagent in clinical use today. The success of Rituximab therapy has spawned the generation of a number of newer therapeutics that also target B cells.


Selected Recent Clinical Trial Results
  • Rituximab Versus Azathioprine for Maintenance in ANCA-associated Vasculitis
  • Brodalumab, an Anti-IL17RA Monoclonal Antibody, in Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Anti-thymocyte Globulin/G-Csf Treatment Preserves Β Cell Function in Patients with Established Type 1 Diabetes




Thank you to the 2013 FOCIS Corporate Council:

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