As our field continues to advance, the opportunity to share our knowledge and speed our progress has never been greater. With summer quickly approaching, I encourage you to make room on your calendar for the premier meeting in translational immunology, FOCIS 2014, to be held June 25-28 in Chicago, Illinois. The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers overlooks the Chicago River and is just blocks from Navy Pier, providing an exciting backdrop to the unrivaled exposure FOCIS provides to the top leaders in immunology and its related fields.
FOCIS is the leader in immunology education and this year's meeting delivers on that promise. Many of us belong to multiple specialty societies to stay connected with the current developments in our fields. FOCIS complements this and keeps you ahead of the curve by providing a look into the future. By listening, learning and interacting with colleagues from different disciplines, we get a glimpse of the possibilities for the future of research and clinical immunology. FOCIS also provides necessary education on the role of the immune system in different diseases and a global view on how to select the most effective therapies.
The FOCIS 2014 Scientific Program Committee has put together an exciting program that includes the most novel basic research and the implications for human application as well as the results of immune-based treatments in clinical settings. Visit the FOCIS 2014 Preliminary Program to see the lineup speakers and register now!
FOCIS 2014 also offers two courses from the FOCIS educational portfolio (FOCISed). Held June 24, the longest standing FOCIS course, Basic Immunology in Medicine delivers information on the major recent advances in basic immunology that are most relevant to human disease and immunologic therapy. Interventional Immunology discusses the newest therapies and novel applications across multiple diseases on June 25. Discounted rates are available for course and annual meeting packages. Click here for more information on each course.
There is much to learn, see and do in Chicago before, during and after FOCIS 2014. See you there!
Registration is now open for FOCIS 2014, the premier meeting in translational immunology! Register now for the meeting that includes more than 15 scientific sessions with more than 45 top clinicians and researchers from around the globe, speaking on cutting-edge topics across immunology and its related fields. Join FOCIS prior to registering to secure the lowest registration rates!
Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers
301 East North Water Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Book your room at the FOCIS rate of $239/night for regular attendees and $199/night for trainees.
Plenary Session Snapshot
Thematic Session Snapshot
Oral Abstract Sessions - Featuring Session Titles that Pay Homeage to our Chicago Locale
Support Immunology education and research and rub shoulders with the leaders in the field in a fun and informal setting at the FOCIS Foundation's Innings for Immunology event at 6:15 pm on June 28th after the curtain closes on FOCIS 2014. Attendees will get a wonderful view of historic Wrigley Field from the comfort of the legendary Wrigley rooftop suites across the street. Registration is $200 and includes many food options along with beverages. Register now to save your spot – tickets are expected to sell out fast!
FOCIS is pleased to announce that the following FOCIS Member Societies will be hosting half or full-day symposia on Wednesday, June 25th at FOCIS 2014! Check out their exciting programs, part of the stellar FOCIS 2014 line-up!
The newest installation of the members-only publication, Translational Immunology Update is now available. The titles from each publication are available for viewing on the FOCIS homepage. To view the full text, click on any article and enter your FOCIS member information. Not a FOCIS member yet? Join today!
In addition to Translational Immunology Update, members receive
Titles from the issue include:
George C. Tsokos, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Immunology, is highlighted in this month's Elsevier Editor-in-Chief Spotlight. Dr. Tsokos has been Editor-in-Chief of the journal since January 2011.
Q. What does being a journal editor mean to you and what do you find most rewarding about this role?
A. Clinical Immunology publishes high impact papers in the field of clinical immunology and, in that respect, I feel responsible for choosing and presenting to the community what is important, novel and significant in the field. Working with a top notch cadre of associate editors with whom I orchestrate the reviewing process is highly rewarding. We work with the FOCIS leaders and the FOCIS Publications Committee to make Clinical Immunology the sole home for all important advances in the field.
Q. What are your biggest challenges as Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Immunology? How do you overcome these challenges and what extra support can Elsevier provide?
A. The greatest challenge is to secure qualified reviewers. For each paper we strive to recruit a senior reviewer, who can help to define the overall impact of the paper, as well as junior reviewers to comb the manuscript carefully. Although we do try to use the reviewers suggested by authors as much as we can, there are challenges. Many times the suggested reviewers are very senior people who are too busy to review papers and sometimes authors recommend reviewers from their own country – for a small country that is equivalent to an author recommending reviewers from their own institution. Other times authors recommend reviewers from other countries but their last names reveal the submitting author’s country. I and the associate editors try to go through each submission to determine whether the article fits the scope of the journal and whether the manuscript presents novel, well-documented experiments. In this way we keep the burden on reviewers to a minimum.
Q. In many areas of research, the growth of paper submissions is outpacing the growth of qualified reviewers and resulting in pressure on the peer-review system. What do you think the solution to this problem is and how do you see the peer-review process changing in the future?
A. As already stated, identifying qualified reviewers is difficult. Submissions to Clinical Immunology increased by 10 percent in 2013 making the job of the editors even more difficult. I think the only solution is for editors to make the initial choices and only send for review submitted papers that fit the journal and will be read with interest and excitement by our colleagues. In this way, good reviewers are not inundated with requests to review papers that will not make the cut.
Q. We have observed that researchers are increasingly accessing journal content online at an article level, i.e. the researcher digests content more frequently on an article basis rather than a journal basis. How do you think this affects the visibility of your journal among authors?
A. Indeed, scientists search the web (Google Scholar or PubMed) to find articles that can help them interpret their experiments or plan new ones; clinicians search for solutions to clinical problems or to improve their clinical practice; and teachers search the web to stay up to date. I think Clinical Immunology has benefited from this evolving practice. Numerical/statistical data and personal feedback assure us that we are strong.
Q. Academic publishing is increasingly embracing open access. How do you see these open access changes in your country? And how do you see them affecting authors who publish in your journal?
A. My country, USA, started the concept and practice of free access which I think is a great idea. And it is rational to expect tax payers to have access to what they have paid for. A small caveat in this effort is who will pay for this? I do not know if the free-access-journal-upfront-fee is less or more than the one charged by the classic journals. I am happy though that papers that are accepted for publication to Clinical Immunology are uploaded to the central library immediately if the work has been funded by NIH (National Institutes of Health).
Q. Researchers need to demonstrate their research impact and they are increasingly under pressure to publish articles in journals with high Impact Factors. How important is a journal’s Impact Factor to you and do you see any developments in your community regarding other research quality measurements?
A. This is true. Yet, many promotions committees in this country and study sections for NIH and other funding organizations pay attention to the body of work published by a scientist, rather than one or a few articles in high-impact, fashionable journals. With the advancement of open access and the availability of search engines it will eventually be left up to the readers to judge the ’impact‘ of a published article.
Q. As online publishing techniques develop, the traditional format of the online scientific article will change. At Elsevier, we are experimenting with new online content features and functionality. Which improvements/changes would you, as an editor, find most important?
A. Anything that increases access, functionality, cross-referencing, easy use from iPhone, iPad etc. will be welcome.
Q. Do you use social media or online professional networking in your role as an editor or researcher? Has it helped you and, if so, how?
A. I do not use social media at all but, from what I understand, those channels can help to spread information quickly.
Q. How do you see your journal developing over the next 10 years? Do you see major shifts in the use of journals in the future?
A. Clinical Immunology will keep on publishing only cutting-edge information in the field. We will continue publishing review articles on state-of-the-art issues that can offer critical knowledge to colleagues. We will continue seeking articles that provide a solid body of work presenting novel mechanisms and insights from clinical studies. Members of FOCIS have been increasingly sending their best work to Clinical Immunology and this will gradually place the journal at the top of the list. I believe that 10 years from now, it will be the top journal in the field.
Q. Do you have any tips or tricks to share with your fellow editors about being a journal editor?
A. It is important to go through all submissions and choose articles that fulfil the goals of the journal to guarantee homogeneity in the quality of the published papers. It is important to engage young colleagues as reviewers and offer them slots on the editorial board.
Register Now! September 14-17, 2014
Renaissance Waterfront, Boston, Massachusetts
FOCIS is pleased to announce a second chance to attend its most popular course on the east coast this September. Historically held each spring in Scottsdale, this course has consistently sold out and attracted audiences from all over the world. Register now to join world-renowned faculty and get updated on the major topics in cellular and molecular immunology. Learn more and register here.
Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2014
June 24, Chicago, Illinois
Get updated on the recent advances and issues relevant to the pathogenesis and treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, taught by talented faculty with a knack for engaging the audience. Drs. Abul Abbas, Andrew Lichtman, and Shiv Pillai will teach you immunology basics, and you can earn 6.5 CME credits along the way! View the agenda and register here.
Abul Abbas, MD
Andrew Lichtman, MD, PhD
Shiv Pillai, MD, PhD
|Johnathan Maltzman, MD, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Led by Course Director Dr. Jonathan Maltzman and expert faculty, familiarize yourself with the scientific basis of novel immune therapies, their clinical application and possible side effects. Diverse issues such as cell-based therapies, costimulatory blockade and complement inhibition will be discussed. Whether your specialty area is IBD or cancer, there is something for you at the Interventional Immunology course! Learn more and register here.
Do both courses sound too good to pass up? Register for both and save!
Don't miss your chance to gain an immunology edge by attending the 2014 FOCISed courses, featuring the leading education on immune and inflammatory diseases. Become a member of FOCIS to take advantage of the lowest registration rates!
Can't make it to Chicago? Become a FOCIS member to access educational programming on demand, for free! The following courses are available through the FOCISed Online CME Portal:
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) is a not-for-profit association of clinical and research professionals including immunologists, geneticists, molecular biologists, transplant physicians and surgeons, pathologists and technologists. As a professional society involved in histocompatibility, immunogenetics and transplantation, ASHI is dedicated to advancing the science of the human Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), also called the HLA complex. In addition, ASHI advocates the highest standards of laboratory testing in the interest of optimal patient care. The Society's vision is to improve the quality of human life and health through the translation and implementation of scientific innovations to clinical practice.
Why HLA is so important?
The HLA region has intrigued and challenged generations of investigators, it is a paradigm for many different aspects of the human genetic research. In the "Genetics Olympics", the HLA region would hold many records notably in term of extreme genetic variations, gene density, biological significance, and disease associations.
The HLA region contains the most polymorphic coding sequences in the human genome. HLA genetic diversity accounts for over 10% of all genetic diversity observed in the human genome. The HLA region is the epicenter of disease associations. HLA population genetics and genome-wide association studies demonstrated the preeminence of HLA in term of the number of associations with autoimmune, infectious, inflammatory, and adverse drug effects, the magnitude of the effect, and the statistical confidence.
ASHI provides many opportunities for continuing education. The ASHI Annual Meeting, held each fall, provides attendees with the opportunity to meet and exchange information. Plenary sessions and Symposia offer the latest research findings of interest in both scientific and clinical areas. Concurrent basic research and clinical abstract presentations provide an opportunity for all members to acquire knowledge and to interact with colleagues in their own areas of expertise. In addition, educational workshops provide lectures and interactive discussions on specialized topics. ASHI will hold its 40th annual meeting this year from October 20 - 24 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.
Regional Education Workshops are designed to meet the specific educational needs of those individuals who are new to the rapidly growing fields of transplantation immunology, immunogenetics, and histocompatibility. This year's Regional Workshops will be held in Seattle in May and Baltimore in June.
ASHI also partners annually with the European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI) and Asia-Pacific Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Association (APHIA) to provide an International Summer School on Immunogenetics (ISS). This program is designed to promote the fields of immunogenetics and histocompatibility with intensive interactions between participating students and tutors. Introductory lectures are followed by interactive discussions on recent developments, promoting educational and scientific exchange encompassing the latest developments in these fields at both the technical and clinical level. This year, the ISS will take place October 15 – 18 in Boulder, Colorado, USA.
Continuing Education Credits (CECs) are available for attendees at the Annual Meeting, Regional Education Workshops, and the ISS. In addition to these meetings, workshops and programs, ASHI also offers a unique web-based educational program - ASHI University (ASHI U). Students of ASHI-U have access to a broad range of topics in histocompatibility and immunogenetics, irrespective of the size of their own laboratories. Students learn from text, PowerPoint and video-based media. They can obtain CE credits for their participation by taking quizzes after each module. ASHI University is free for ASHI members. Non-members pay a nominal fee.
Programs & Services
ASHI's Proficiency Testing Program is designed to fully meet the latest ASHI standards for laboratory accreditation by utilizing clinically-based samples to assess a laboratory's ability to accurately perform its analyses. This program is accepted by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) as an alternative proficiency testing program provider for the HLA Typing, HLA-B27 Detection, Engraftment/Chimerism Testing and Antibody Screening/Identification and Crossmatching surveys.
ASHI's Laboratory Accreditation Program maintains the highest standards of reliability and quality in histocompatibility testing laboratories. The accreditation program evaluates laboratory personnel, procedures and facilities to determine if they are in compliance with ASHI standards and with those standards of organizations that have granted ASHI deemed status. It promotes the educational aspects of the accreditation process, particularly in assisting laboratories in the correction of deficiencies, and maintains the Society's awareness of standard and novel testing procedures and methodologies. This voluntary program has accredited over 200 histocompatibility laboratories worldwide and has deemed status with CMS for the subspecialties of Histocompatibility and General Immunology as well as deemed status with UNOS, the NMDP, and the state of Florida.
Recent Accomplishments & Newsworthy Items
For more information on ASHI's educational opportunities, programs and services, please visit the ASHI website.
Director: Prof. Françoise Mascart, M.DM, PhD
The ULB FCE has built an interdisciplinary translational immunology community of clinical immunologists, allergologists, immune-biologists, internists, gastroenterologists, pneumologists, nephrologists, rheumatologists, pediatricians, dermatologists and ophthalmologists working in four different hospitals from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Hôpital Erasme, Hôpital Brugmann, Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants Reine Fabiola, and Hôpital Saint-Pierre, all situated in Brussels.
Our main goals are to spread knowledge in clinical immunology throughout these different medical sub-specialties, to provide physicians with a highly qualified trans-disciplinary forum for discussing specific patients problems related to clinical immunology, and to offer young medical doctors the opportunity for translational research in immunology. Two clinical laboratories are available within the FCE that provide clinicians with specific technologies for the diagnosis of autoimmune and allergic diseases as well as for the diagnosis of primary immune deficiencies. Different biobanks are available comprising samples from patients with autoimmune diseases and primary immune deficiencies, and several patient registries have been constituted as well.
To enlarge the collaborations between immunologists, we have actively participated in a European network of immunologists established between multi-national FCE centers in Europe, through the Cost action BM0907 – ENTIRE project, "From immune-monitoring to personalized immunotherapy" (see www.entire-net.eu and Clin Immunol 2013; 147: 23-26).
Training is performed through a 2-year course of clinical immunology/allergology open to all medical doctors and comprising 120 hours of teaching, 160 hours of clinical demonstrations, and 40 hours of laboratory demonstrations. At the end of the cursus, the trainees must pass a written exam on theoretical aspects, and present a personal short thesis. Since 2001, 94 MDs have followed this cursus, and 47 of them have passed the exams and obtained a diploma. As shown on the Figure, this teaching reaches MDs from ULB. and also from other main Belgian universities (Université de Liège, Université Catholique de Louvain, etc) broadening the Belgian community of immunologists.
Complimentary to this training, 9 trainees have followed the FOCIS education program (basic/advanced immunology) with 5 of them participating in the annual FCE Trainee Satellite Symposium as well. The FCE director participates in schools of translational immunology organized in Europe through the Cost program and 4 Belgian fellows have had the opportunity to participate in these sessions.
The trainees have the opportunity to apply for Belgian research grants to allow them to spend a 2 year period in a research laboratory and to develop their research program. The ULB FCE comprises several laboratories involved in translational research in the fields of vaccinology, hypereosinophilia, immunity to infection, gastroenterology, genetics, immune deficiency, neonatal immunity, autoimmunity, allergenicity and immune response to allergens, granulocyte functions and intracellular signaling.
The U.L.B. FCE board: Prof G Casimir, Dr V Doyen, Prof F Mascart, Prof O Michel, Dr F Roufosse
As you've likely heard by now, the theme of FOCIS 2014 is "Spotlight on Translational Immunology". So it is fitting that our friends at Sigma Aldrich and the American Association for the Advancement of Science worked together to publish the State of Translational Research 2013 Survey Report. You'll find a lot of information in the key findings, and you'll learn that there is a gap between attitudes and practices. While the scientific community is looking for the individuals, organizations, and networks to bridge that gap, we are excited that FOCIS has been an incubator for this approach in the immunology arena.
Transplantation and Autoimmunity: The Crossroads
June 5-6, 2014
June 25-28, 2014
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Basic Immunology in Medicine 2014
Tuesday, June 24 at FOCIS 2014
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Wednesday, June 25 at FOCIS 2014
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology
September 14-17, 2014
Renaissance Boston Waterfront
Boston, Masschusetts, USA
June 22-28, 2015
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
San Diego, California, USA
June 22-25, 2016
Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Interested in more Related Meetings? Click on the Events/Meetings tab on the FOCIS page.
Remember to visit the FOCIS Grants/Awards site regularly to view new grant opportunities in the field of clinical immunology and related disciplines. Grants are currently listed from the NIH Roadmap, CADE, CTOT and more.
From academia to government to industry; below are the openings available in the immunology job market! Click on each job posting to find out more details.
Project Scientist for UCLA Immune Assessment Laboratory
University of California – Los Angeles
Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow in Systemic Autoimmunity
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF)
Post-Doctoral Position in Human Heart Transplantation Immunology
Columbia University Medical Center
FOCIS is a federation of societies that unite under the common mission to improve human health through immunology.
Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma Immunology
American College of Rheumatology • American Rhinological Society • American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics • American Society of Nephrology • American Society of Transplantation
American Uveitis Society • Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis
Association for Cancer Immunotherapy • Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists
Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy • Austrian Society for Allergology and Immunology • British Society for Immunology
Canadian Society for Immunology • Cancer Research Institue • Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research
Clinical Immunology Chapter of the Sociedad Mexicana de Immunología • Clinical Immunology Society
Commonwealth of Independent States Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology
Croatian Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology • Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America
Egyptian Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology • European Society for Immunodeficiencies
European Society for Organ Transplantation • Georgian Association of Allegology and Clinical Immunology
German Society of Immunology • Immune Tolerance Network • Immunology of Diabetes Society
International Complement Society • International Cytokine Society
International Life Sciences Institute/Health and Environmental Sciences Institute
International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research
International Society for NeuroImmunoModulation • International Society of Neuroimmunology
Israel Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology • Italian Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology
Japanese Society for Immunology • Lithuanian Society of Pulmonology and Allergy• Lupus Foundation of America
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases • Pan American Group for Immunodefiency
Section of Clinical Immunology and Allergy of the Royal Society of Medicine
Section for Clinical Immunology of the Swedish Society of Medicine • Society for Immunotheraphy of Cancer • Society of Innate Immunity
Society for Investigative Dermatology • Society for Mucosal Immunology • The Transplantation Society
Ukrainian Society of Immunology and Allergy • Uveitis Association of Mexico • World Allergy Organization