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News & Information


FOCIS Vice President, Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, has been named president and CEO of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

Renowned UCSF immunologist and FOCIS Vice President, Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, has been named president and CEO of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, a national initiative launched with a $250 million grant from The Parker Foundation


FOCIS Partners with TTS on Computational Immunology Course

FOCIS is excited to announce it has parterned with The Transplantation Society (TTS) to offer another edition of the Computational Immunology Course to be held at TTS 2016 in Hong Kong!


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 FOCIS 2016 Sponsors



ePub header 2016

April 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 Have a Lethal Virus? There's a Cow for That

Research Paper:
Thomas Luke, et al. Human polyclonal immunoglobulin G from transchromosomic bovines inhibits MERS-CoV in vivo. Science Translational Medicine 8 (326), 326ra21. (2016). PMID: 26888429

The ability to treat rapidly emerging infectious diseases with pathogen specific antibodies is hampered by the difficulty in producing large amounts of antibodies in a timely fashion. Isolation of antibodies from convalescent serum in humans requires a large motivated pool of human donors. Monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies in animals have the potential for severe reactions arising from human immune responses against animal derived antibodies. Monoclonal humanized antibodies take a long time to develop and can result in the rapid development of escape mutants, something not observed with polyclonal antibodies. The authors describe a new approach to rapidly generating polyclonal human anti-pathogen antibodies using transgenic cows.


  Reviewed by Rachael A. Clark, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital


Developments in Basic Immunology and Novel Therapies

circlearrow2 The Role of Bacteria and Bacterial-derived Metabolites in Intestinal Immune Homeostasis

The human intestine is home to trillions of highly diverse commensal bacteria, which exist in a symbiotic and mutualistic relationship with their host. Many key aspects of human health, including tolerance to the constituents of the microbiota itself, vitamin and nutrient absorption and the development of cells within the intestinal mucosa, are dependent on the presence of these beneficial microbes1. In addition, the microbiota also plays a vital role in protecting the host from invading pathogenic bacteria, via competition for substrate and niche, as well as through the production of antimicrobial compounds. Understanding how specific bacteria influence intestinal immunity is key for understanding the physiology of intestinal homeostasis, and also has the potential to define new treatments for intestinal diseases. 


  Submitted by Maria Fernando, and Megan K. Levings, PhD, University of British Columbia


Selected Recent Clinical Trial Results

circlearrow2 Efficacy and Safety of Dupilumab in Adults with Moderate-to-severe Atopic Dermatitis Inadequately Controlled by Topical Treatments: A Randomised, Placebo-Controlled, Dose-Ranging Phase 2B Trial 

Clinical Trial: Thaci D, Simpson E, Beck L, et al. Lancet 2016; 387:40-52

Disease: Atopic dermatitis

Intervention: Dupilumab or placebo. Dupilumab is a human monoclonal antibody directed against the interleukin (IL)-4 receptor alpha subunit that blocks signaling of both IL-4 and IL-13, Th2 cytokines.


  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:

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