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FOCIS UPDATE

FOCIS Steering Committee

FOCIS Chair
David Hafler

FOCIS Vice-Chair
Gerald T. Nepom

FOCIS Secretary/Treasurer
Jonathan Braun

Past Chair
C. Garrison Fathman

FCE Chair
Cornelia Weyand

Accreditation Chair
George Eisenbarth

Communications Chair
Lynn Gordon

Development Chair
Lanny Rosenwasser

Education Chair
P.J. Utz

International Chair
Stefan Meuer

Research Chair
Dhaval Patel

Steering Committee Members

Grant J. Anhalt

Jack P. Antel

Richard S. Blumberg

Jeffrey A. Bluestone

Mary K. Crow

Mohamed R. Daha

Barbara Detrick

Ronald Falk

Lynn K. Gordon

Gregg Hadley

Hiroshi Kiyono

Vijay Kuchroo

Peter E. Lipsky

Michael T. Lotze

Barbara Murphy

William J. Murphy

Karen Nelson

Lanny J. Rosenwasser

Daniel Rotrosen

John E. Sims

Kendall A. Smith

Kathleen Sullivan

William J. Murphy

Matthias G. Von Herrath


FOCIS Update

FOCIS Update is published four times a year by the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies. All editorial communications should be directed to:
Sarah Krause
(414) 359-1670
skrause@focisnet.org



Dear Colleagues:

As FOCIS wraps up FOCIS 2006 activities, we look with fresh eyes to future possibilities. As a constant innovator in the field of clinical immunology, FOCIS has developed a number of ambitious goals to further break down clinical barriers and advance diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory human diseases. One such high priority goal is the creation of a FOCIS Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) Network. FOCIS has strategically partnered with the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) to conduct more efficient clinical and translational research studies. Ten sites have been selected to pilot the CTU Network. Seven of the eleven sites are within the existing structure of the FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCE). It is anticipated that this pilot program will extend out to all FCEs in its second stage. Look for the CTU section in this newsletter for more information and to learn about the CTU Network Planning Meeting, held in September.

The next FOCIS Annual Meeting takes place June 7-11, 2007 in San Diego, California. FOCIS 2007 will feature talks by the foremost researchers and clinicians in clinical immunology and related fields. Abstract submissions are now open on the FOCIS website, the deadline is January 26, 2007. Unique to the FOCIS meeting, the best abstracts are selected for brief thematic presentations. Registration for FOCIS 2007 is open now. For more information please visit www.focisnet.org.

FOCIS 2007 also serves as a forum to meet with colleagues and form new collaborative relationships. The meeting promotes a constant exchange of ideas from genetics and personalized medicine to emerging infectious diseases and informatics. FOCIS Member Societies will sponsor Satellite Symposia on Thursday, presenting current findings in their fields. FOCIS will partner with the Nature Reviews Immunology to promote developments in immunotherapy by publishing a special issue and supplement that fosters active research into the biology and therapeutic application of cytokines. We are also pleased to welcome the “Network of Consortia” (NOC). Members of the NOC Genetic Consortia will present the latest from the disease-specific consortia in the plenary session on Monday, June 11.

FOCIS recently fostered the creation of a white paper focusing on the TNFα blockade in human diseases. The paper was authored by investigators at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, a FOCIS Center of Excellence. The paper encompasses multidisciplinary clinical experience, analysis of different TNF targeted agents, mechanisms of action and includes six metanalysis tables. Look for the review to be published in Clinical Immunology, followed by a detailed metanalysis study, in late 2006.

Last, the Advanced Course in Clinical Immunology, run by Abul Abbas and PJ Utz is scheduled for March 7-11, 2007 in Scottsdale Arizona. Register now, space is highly limited.

As always we appreciate and look forward to your continued participation and support.

Best regards,


David Hafler, MD
FOCIS President
Harvard Medical School

Gerald Nepom, MD, PhD
FOCIS Vice President
Benaroya Research Institute

Jonathan Braun, MD, PhD
FOCIS Treasurer
University of California – Los Angeles
• • • • •
FOCIS 2007
Submit an Abstract
Register Now

On the Horizon - FOCIS 2007

FOCIS 2007 will be held June 7-11 in San Diego, California. The FOCIS 2007 Organizing Committee;

Matthias von Herrath, MD
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Gary Firestein, MD
University of California – San Diego
Mitchell Kronenberg, PhD
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Takashi Yamamura, MD, PhD
National Institute of Neuroscience - Tokyo

have been hard at work confirming exciting sessions and inviting new leading speakers to enhance the program of this year’s meeting. See what they have in store for you by visiting www.focisnet.org/meetings/am07 and viewing the Preliminary Program.

Member Society Satellite Sessions

In addition to a strong main scientific program, FOCIS 2007 is enhanced by the presence of Member Society Satellites that will be held the on June 7. These satellites give Member Societies the opportunity to highlight the most recent discoveries and innovations in their fields at a meeting that brings together multiple specialties to discuss the cross fertilization between specific disease states.

The following Member Societies will be offering satellites at FOCIS 2007:

  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
  • American Uveitis Society
  • Clinical Immunology Society
  • Clinical Immunology Society and International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer
  • International Society or Neuroimmunology and Immunology of Diabetes Society

Registration for these satellites is independent of FOCIS. Please visit the FOCIS 2007 website to view the programs and to learn about how you can attend.

Basic Immunology Course to be held June 6

On June 6, the day prior to the Member Society Satellites FOCIS offers a day long course created and taught by Abul Abbas, MD, University of California – San Francisco and Hidde Ploegh, MD, Whitehead Institute. Basic Immunology for Clinicians: Update 2007 is a review of selected topics in basic immunology. The topics have been chosen based on two main criteria - issues that are relevant to clinical problems and the development of novel therapeutic strategies, and areas in which there have been substantial recent progress. A syllabus and electronic access to slides are provided to assist attendees in following the lectures and participating in the discussions. In addition, attendees may use these slides as a basis for their own teaching and lecturing needs.

Registration now open!



Exhibition and Support Opportunities

The breadth and depth of many exciting events draws attendees from all corners of the translational field of clinical immunology into one area. Related organizations will want to ensure their presence with the thought leaders that make up their primary audience! The FOCIS 2007 Exhibition & Poster Hall will be vibrant with the many ongoing activities at FOCIS 2007. The Exhibition & Poster Hall is the site of the Opening Reception, the first opportunity for delegates to peruse the exhibits and enjoy the food and drinks provided. Concessions will also be available in the hall each day to provide delegates with a convenient place to stop for a bite to eat between scientific sessions. Additionally unopposed evening poster sessions with wine and cheese will end each day in the Hall. To learn more about how your organization can gain visibility at FOCIS 2007 please click here to view the Exhibitor Prospectus and the Supporter Opportunities booklets.

• • • • •

Clinical Trials Unit Network

FOCIS is partnering with the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) to establish a Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) Network. The mission of the network is to accelerate introduction of new treatment strategies, rationalize treatment choice through measurable links to disease biology, and broaden disease indications for therapy based on common disease biology. To pursue this mission, the network has unique assets, including outstanding US immunotherapy experts, organized clinical centers and patient populations spanning a variety of diseases of interest, and integrated bench-bedside-bench scientific expertise.

The first ten CTUs were selected by the ITN to pilot the network. As the network sees success additional CTUs will be added from the rich network of already successful FCEs. The current CTU Network consists of:

Yale University – Kevan Herold, MD
UCSF – David Wofsy, MD
University of Alabama – Larry Moreland, MD
UCLA – Jonathan Braun, MD, PhD
Benaroya Research Institute – Carla Greebaum, MD
Duke University – Bill St. Clair
University of Colorado – Michael Holers, MD
University of Pennsylvania – Abraham Shaked
Stanford University – Mark Genovese, MD
Harvard University – Mohammed Sayegh

The CTU Network Planning Committee and CTU Directors met on September 25 in Redondo Beach, California to construct a business plan for the network. It was decided that the two market/product mixes that the CTU Network will begin focusing on is site development for investigator initiated trials and phase I-III trials for small pharma or divisions of big pharma. Throughout the rest of 2006 the planning committee will be contacting CTU Directors as well as FCEs for ideas and feedback on the development of the network.

• • • • •

High Science in a Hot Spot

Register Now! - Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology

Dendritic cells

The 2007 Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology created by Abul Abbas, MD, University of California – San Francisco and P.J. Utz, MD, Stanford University, will take place at The Mondrian Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona, March 7-11. At the request of last year’s attendees the course has been lengthened by one day and now includes an entire session on dendritic cells.

The preliminary agenda and registration information is posted on the FOCIS website. Please visit www.focisnet.org/education to register. Course space is limited and fills quickly, so reserve your spot soon!

See you in Scottsdale!

2007 Coursebook

Complimentary Course Books Available* - Medical Undergraduate Immunology Course

Created by FOCIS Education Chair, P.J. Utz, MD, this course is based on his program at the Stanford University FOCIS Center of Excellence (FCE). The program introduces students to the exciting world of clinical immunology, and entices them to continue their studies in medical research. The program includes a 300-page syllabus, Web cast of the lectures, and other materials to assist in implementing this course at your institution.

The 2006 course is available to FCEs and will be made available to the broad immunological community in 2007. If you would like to receive more information on how to become an FCE or about the 2007 course launch, please visit www.focisnet.org/education or contact Sarah Krause, FOCIS Program Manager, skrause@focisnet.org.

*Hard copies of course materials are available to FOCIS Centers of Excellence free of charge while supplies last.

• • • • •

FOCIS White Paper: TNFα Blockade in Human Diseases

Recently a white paper was completed by Jan Lin, Sungjin Kim, David Ziring, Sheetal Desai, Maida Wong, Yael Korin, Jonathan Braun, Elaine Reed, David Gjertson, Ram Raj Singh of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. The paper focuses on the human therapeutic experience. The investigators have performed a critical review of the status of efficacy and toxicity of anti-TNF agents in a variety of inflammatory diseases and provide a review the data on diseases, such as congestive heart failure and sarcoidosis, where these agents have failed despite a good initial rationale. Finally, they review the biology of mechanisms of action, the limiting factors contributing to disease restriction in therapeutic efficacy, the mechanism and frequency of treatment-limiting adverse responses, and make recommendations on priorities for research and clinical innovation to improve and extend therapeutic use and safety of these agents. Please click here to view a summary of the paper.

• • • • •

FOCIS Centers of Excellence
News You Can Use – FOCIS Centers of Excellence

Attention FCE Trainees! - Trainee Satellilte Symposium Announcement

As you may know, each year two trainees from each FCE are selected by the FCE Director to participate in the Trainee Satellite Symposium (TSS) at the annual FOCIS meeting. TSS, held the day prior to FOCIS 2007, brings together trainees from all 47 national and international centers and highlights the great research they are conducting within the FCE.

This year ten trainees will be selected from the group to give oral presentations. These presentations will be sessioned into the Member Society Satellites that are being held on Thursday, June 7. Trainee presentations will be evaluated and trainees will be provided with feedback on their presentation. TSS participants will attend the satellite sessions and will present posters in the evening.

All trainees selected to participate in TSS will receive complimentary registration for FOCIS 2007 as well as a travel award for up to $500 in meeting related expenses. Keep an eye out for posters in your institution announcing the call for abstracts and ask your FCE Director for more information.

B cell Outreach Program Launch

Fifteen FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCE) will receive grants to conduct B cell programs at their institutions. CDs were distributed with three modules of slides created by Robert Carter, MD, University of Alabama – Birmingham and Shiv Pillai, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School. The slide modules include:

Module 1: The Presentation Slide Set is a sophisticated backbone for Grand Rounds or graduate level overview in a variety of other settings.
Module 2: The Teaching Backup Slide Set contains a large number of basic teaching slides suitable for an undergraduate level immunology program or introductory graduate level program.
Module 3: The Clinical Backup Slide Set includes clinically relevant materials which may be selectively used according to individual interests by moving slides from this set into the main Presentation Slide Set as needed.

The program also includes a monograph that summarizes each of the three modules. All FCEs will receive copies of this program in early 2007.

Position Available! Baylor College of Medicine Endowed Chair

The Immunology Allergy and Rheumatology Section of the Department of Medicine and Biology of Inflammation Center invite applications for appointment to the Nancy Chang Chair in Allergy and Immunology or the Brown Foundation Chair in Rheumatology. Candidates must have outstanding scholarly achievement and ongoing extramural funding of research in basic or translational immunology relevant to the disciplines of Allergy and Immunology or Rheumatology. Research facilities are in the new laboratories of the interdisciplinary Biology of Inflammation Center, and clinical facilities are in the new Baylor Clinic. Applicants should submit a letter summarizing research interests and career goals, and a CV to: David P. Huston, MD; Baylor College of Medicine; One Baylor Plaza, BCM 285; Houston, TX 77030-3411. dhuston@bcm.edu. Phone: 713-798-3360

Post Doctoral Fellow and Instructor - Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Description: To study the molecular and cellular mechanisms of autoimmune disease. Projects focus on therapeutic target identification in autoimmune disease. Special emphasis on macrophage biology linked to autoimmune lupus, and novel co-stimulatory pathways. The position is within the Department of Medicine, Renal Division of Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Requirements: MD or PhD required as well as a background in immunology along with a preferred background in molecular and/or cell biology.

Contact: Dr. Vicki Rubin Kelley, Harvard Institutes of Medicine, 4 Black Fan Circle, MA 02115
Fax: (617) 525-5830, Email: vkelley@rics.bwh.harvard.edu.

• • • • •

Events

5th International Congress on Autoimmunity

November 29-December 3, 2006
Sorrento, Italy

Primary Immunodeficiency Disease Consortium Conference

February 22, 2007
San Diego, California

27th European Workshop for Rheumatology Research

February 22-24
Firenze, Italy

FOCIS Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology

March 7-11, 2007
Scottsdale, Arizona

7th World Congress on Trauma, Shock, Inflammation and Sepsis – TSIS2007

March 13-17, 2007
Munich, Germany

CIS School in Systemic Autoimmune Diseases

March 14-18, 2007
Santa Fe, New Mexico

2007 ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting

March 21-25, 2007
Nashville, Tennessee

11th International Conference on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders

May 14-16, 2007
Chicago, Illinois

Basic Immunology for Clinicians: Update 2007

June 6, 2007
San Diego, California

FOCIS 2007

June 7-11, 2007
San Diego, California

22nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer

November 1-4, 2007
Boston, MA

We want to hear from you!

Please send your upcoming news and events to Sarah Krause, skrause@focisnet.org.

• • • • •

Program Announcements...

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation/Immune Tolerance Network Partnership Program

This program encourages and supports early stage clinical development of tolerogenic protocols in Type 1 diabetes. The initiative aims to facilitate the development of novel tolerance agents in type 1 diabetes through targeted funding available through a fast-turnaround, streamlined application process administered by the ITN, with JDRF participation. Applications for support are accepted year-round, with no application deadlines. To apply, complete the application template forms below and submit online through the ITN website www.immunetolerance.org.

Click here to view a complete listing of grant and award opportunities.

• • • • •

Career Development

Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Tenured/Tenure-Track Position - Neuroimmunology (Clinical) - Division of Intramural Research

Department Of Health And Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Tenured/Tenure-Track Position - Neuroimmunology (Basic/Translational) - Division of Intramural Research

Position Available! Baylor College of Medicine Endowed Chair

The Immunology Allergy and Rheumatology Section of the Department of Medicine and Biology of Inflammation Center invite applications for appointment to the Nancy Chang Chair in Allergy and Immunology or the Brown Foundation Chair in Rheumatology.

Post Doctoral Fellow and Instructor - Brigham & Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Position available to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms of autoimmune disease. Projects focus on therapeutic target identification in autoimmune disease.

• • • • •

FOCIS is a federation made up of disease specific societies:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology • American College of Rheumatology
American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation • American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics
American Society of Transplantation • American Uveitis Society
Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis • Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists
Clinical Immunology Society • Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America • Immunology of Diabetes Society
International Complement Society • International Cytokine Society • International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research
International Society of Neuroimmunology • International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer
Society for Investigative Dermatology • Society for Mucosal Immunology • The Transplantation Society