It is with great pleasure that I welcome all of you to a new year with FOCIS. FOCIS Update is a quarterly e-newsletter providing you with important information related to the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) and the FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCE).
Since you have last heard from us, FOCIS has been busy. An executive retreat was held in late 2004 to plan for the continued growth and success of FOCIS. At this meeting, important issues included defining the core purpose of FOCIS (to improve human health through immunology), a restatement of our mission (to foster interdisciplinary approaches to both understand and treat immune base diseases), and an affirmation of our core values (an interdisciplinary approach in education, research and patient care; continually translating new knowledge from basic science into multiple clinical disciplines) and the acknowledgement that a committed leadership will be needed to support strong collaborative interactions among our disparate members to continue training and educating basic and clinical scientists in clinical immunology.
Currently, we are preparing for the 5th Annual Meeting (FOCIS 2005) to be held in Boston, May 12-16, 2005. We look forward to a great meeting, projecting our highest attendance yet. It is not too late to register, so please visit our newly-redesigned Web site www.focisnet.org to register and book your hotel room. In conjunction with FOCIS 2005, several timely satellite meetings of members of the Federation will be held the day preceding the Annual Meeting.
The Annual FCE Winter Directors Forum was held in February, 2005, in Coconut Grove, Fla. The meeting, attended by representatives of 31 FCEs, was a great success. Many new educational, research and development ideas were discussed during committee meetings. Our heartfelt thanks to Dr. David Huston who has led this remarkable initiative from its inception. David has agreed to continue his active support of the FCE program under the leadership of the new Chair of the FCE Committee, Dr. Connie Weyand.
A pilot project to bring members of international consortia involved in diseases in clinical immunology together to discuss areas of mutual interest, was instituted as a satellite of the Winter Forum under the guidance of Dr. Dhaval Patel, FOCIS Research Committee Chair. The Network of Consortia (NOC) aims to bring together a range of disease specific consortia to create a cross-disciplinary forum for research.
The future looks busy and bright for FOCIS. It is with some degree of nostalgia that I bring this letter to a close. My term as FOCIS Chair will end at FOCIS 2005 in Boston, but I know that FOCIS is in the hands of bright and capable individuals who will advance the FOCIS mission: To improve human health through immunology by fostering interdisciplinary approaches to both understand and treat immune-based diseases. I look forward to seeing you in Boston!
With warm regards,
C. Garrison Fathman
FOCIS 2005 Revs Up!
Time is running out! Register now for FOCIS 2005 to receive advance registration rates. You'll save $50 when you register by April 1. Members of FOCIS Member Societies receive additional discounts. Trainee rates are also available.
Visit the www.focisnet.org/meetings/am05
for the most up-to-date information, including:
- Scientific Program updates
- Member Society Satellite Program agendas
- Exhibit Hall information
- Hotel information and online reservations
FOCIS Presents the 2nd Annual Trainee Satellite Symposium
2004 saw the launch of the FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCE) Trainee Satellite Symposium (TSS). This program focuses on trainees within the FCE. Two trainees from each center are selected to attend the symposium and ten give oral presentations. It allows trainees from these centers to display their research in a forum with fellow FCE trainees, as well as their mentors. We are looking forward to the continued success of this symposium on May 12, 2005 in conjunction with the FOCIS 2005 Annual Meeting.
FCEs Take Action at Winter Forum!
The 2nd Annual FCE Winter Directors Forum was held February 3-6 in Coconut Grove, Fla. This meeting convenes FCE Directors from 43 FCE from all over the world. The goal of the meeting is to set long-term and tactical goals. Six committees, Accreditation, Education, Research, Communication, Development and International, met in workshops and at the end of the day presented summaries about their initiatives.
The Accreditation Committee tackled the rigorous task of defining the terms and conditions required to remain an active FCE and therefore gain the benefits of the FCE network. The following terms were decided:
An FCE will be considered inactive if the Center:
- Is not represented by a director (or designee) at two consecutive Winter Directors Forums
- Is not represented by sending trainees to two consecutive Trainee Satellite Symposia (TSS).
The Education Committee, led by Dr. PJ Utz, Chair, generated several new programs and put finishing touches on some pre-existing programs. FOCIS will sponsor a Special Issue in Clinical Immunology, the journal of the Clinical Immunology Society (CIS). The issue will be released in April and will feature articles from nine FCE trainees who were chosen for oral presentations at the 2004 TSS. These articles will show the progress and novel research methods coming out of the FCE. Please click here to read more about the FOCIS Educational Opportunities.
Dr. Dhaval Patel, Research Committee Chair also brought forth interesting new projects. The Research Committee launched the Network of Consortia (NOC) which is sure to become another strong component to the interdisciplinary mission of FOCIS. The Thursday portion of the Winter Forum consisted of the NOC meeting. During this day independently formed and operated consortia held individual meetings and then came together for a cross-consortia discussion of the concept of a NOC. The consensus was that the NOC was of great interest to attendees and they would like to participate in a similar event in 2006.
The Research Committee will also be undertaking an opportunity to work with selected FCEs who will benefit from cutting edge technology and expertise available through industry before it is released. For the most up to date information on RFAs, grants and awards, please visit www.focisnet.org.
The Development Committee played an integral role in the FCE Winter Directors Forum. Dr. Lanny Rosenwasser, Chair of the Development Committee, and fundraising consultant Ms. Barbara Tavrow led a discussion about how the FCEs can fully recognize their potential with the help of philanthropic partnerships.
The International Committee headed by Dr. Stefan Meuer, the Western European FCE Representative, will guide FOCIS in a global direction with the help of Dr. Nicolas Bianco in Latin America and Dr. Jirina Bartunkova in Eastern Europe. Stay tuned for future developments!
Winter Forum 2006 Coming Attractions
The 2006 FCE Winter Directors Forum will also be held in February 2006 in Coconut Grove, Fla. The NOC Meeting will overlap with the Winter Forum to offer the opportunity for the two scientific communities to mingle and share ideas. The consortia will hold private meetings during the first day and then break out into workshops with topics such as repositories, databases, consent, assays, and central resources. The goal of these workshops and of the NOC is to share "best practices," as well as mistakes, so each consortia can benefit from the research and experience of others.
Outstanding FCEs Highlighted at the Winter Forum
Baylor College of Medicine - Dr. David Huston
The creation of a new graduate program "Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine" is the latest crowning accomplishment for the FCE at Baylor. This program was created to train the next generation of PhD or MD/PhD researchers. Training is oriented towards human health research using state-of-the-art techniques and approaches to translational research. This inter-departmental program involves all of the basic and clinical science departments and clinical research centers at Baylor. For more information please visit www.bcm.edu/tbmm.
Emory University - Dr. Jorg Goronzy
The Emory University FCE is based upon multidisciplinary research platforms. These platforms include: Immunobiology of Vascular Inflammation, Autoimmunity, Immunosenescene, Tumor Immunology and Biomarker Development. They have also instituted an exciting line-up of educational activities such as a Seminar Series, facilitating laboratory rotations for students, residents and fellows, and enhancing visibility of immunology in the Medical School educational programs. Emory is also in the planning stages of a lay education program.
University of North Carolina (UNC) - Dr. Dhaval Patel
Congratulations to the UNC FCE for being the first recipient of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Phoenix Award for the development of an Allergy/Immunology Training Program (AITP). UNC received grants for the creation of cross-disciplinary approaches to developing novel imaging tools for animal models of inflammatory diseases.
UNC is in the process of creating a state-of-the-art facility for high throughput clinical proteomics. This development is being supported by the FCE members from UNC, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Joint NCSU/UNC Department of Biomedical Engineering and donations from industrial partners. For more information please visit http://tarc.med.unc.edu/.
University of Pennsylvania - Dr. Arnold Levinson
The FCE at the University of Pennsylvania is taking steps to generate excitement and support for the FCE. They have an Advisory Committee made up of key stakeholders including scientists and clinicians from multiple disciplines and departments. A strategic planning retreat contributed to the solidification of a common mission and core values.
Under the education umbrella the FCE has created bi-monthly Human Translational Immunology Seminars, applied immunology courses for fourth-year students in transplantation and immunodeficiency, and a graduate-level immunology course in autoimmunity. On the research frontier, University of Pennsylvania has brokered a NIH multidisciplinary grant on bioterrorism concerns in immunosuppressed populations and has begun discussions on the development of a multidisciplinary Autoimmunity Clinic.
2003 FOCIS/Millennium Award Produces Novel Research
During the 2003 FOCIS Annual Meeting in Paris, France, Millennium Pharmaceuticals partnered with FOCIS in order to grant two fellowships of $100,000 to further research in clinical immunology for recent M.D., Ph.D. or M.D. /Ph.D. graduates. The two recipients of this Award were Dr. Dominique Baeten, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium and Dr. Kimberly Risma, Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
We extend our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to both Dr. Baeten and Dr. Risma for their diligent research over the two year period of this grant.
FOCIS Centers of Excellence
Baylor College of Medicine
Director: Dr. David P. Huston
Brigham & Women's Hospital
Director: Dr. Paul Anderson
Children's Hospital Boston
Director: Dr. Raif S. Geha
Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Director: Dr. Alexandra Filipovich
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Director: Dr. Brian Mandell
Director: Dr. Betty Diamond
Dartmouth Medical School
Director: Dr. Lloyd Kasper
Duke University Medical Center
Director: Dr. John S. Sundy
Director: Dr. Jorg J. Goronzy
Hospital for Special Surgery
Director: Dr. Mary K. Crow
Director: Dr. Hirohito Kita
Director: Dr. Emil Skamene
Robarts Research Institute
& Western University
Director: Dr. J. Madrenas
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Director: Dr. Alice B. Gottlieb
Stanford University School of Medicine
Director: Dr. C. Garrison Fathman
University of Alabama - Birmingham
Director: Dr. Robert P. Kimberly
University of California - Los Angeles
Director: Dr. Bevra Hahn
University of California - San Diego
Director: Dr. Arthur Kavanaugh
University of California - San Francisco
Director: Dr. Jeffrey A. Bluestone
University of Chicago
Director: Dr. Stephen Hanauer
University of Colorado
Health Sciences Center
Director: Dr. Brian L. Kotzin
University of Florida
Director: Dr. John F. Valentine
University of Iowa
Director: Dr. Elizabeth H. Field
University of Miami
Director: Dr. Jay Skyler
University of North Carolina
Director: Dr. Dhavalkumar D. Patel
University of Pennsylvania Medical School
Director: Dr. Arnold I. Levinson
University of Pittsburgh
Director: Dr. Scott Plevy
University of Rochester Medical Center
Director: Dr. Christopher Ritchlin
University of Southern California
Director: Dr. Chaim Oscar Jacob
University of Washington - Seattle
Director: Dr. Keith B. Elkon
Director: Dr. Wayne Yokoyama
Director: Dr. Jordan S. Pober
Ghent University Hospital
Director: Dr. Eric M. Veys
Giannina Gaslini Institute
Director: Dr. Lorenzo Moretta
Institute of Immunology of Central University Medical School
Director: Dr. Nicolas E. Bianco
Institute of Immunology Czech Republic
Director: Dr. Jirina Bartunkova
Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas
y Nutrición Salador Zubirán
Director: Dr. Jorge Sanchez-Guerrero
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals
Director: Dr. Helen Chapel
Rostov-on-Don State Medical University
Director: Dr. L. Sizialana
Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Director: Dr. Sara Kashef
Université Libre de Bruxells Hopital Ersme
Director: Dr. Michel Goldman
University Hospital of Freiburg
Director: Dr. Hans-Hartmut Peter
© 2005 FOCIS