FOCIS Board of Directors

FOCIS President
Gerald T. Nepom

FOCIS Vice President
Jonathan Braun

FOCIS Secretary/Treasurer
Paul J. Utz

Past President
David Hafler

Abul Abbas
George Eisenbarth
Lynn Gordon
Andrew Lichtman
Michael Lotze
Stefan Meuer
Stephen Rich

Compliance Officer
George Tsokos

Steering Committee Members
Jack P. Antel
Jeffrey A. Bluestone
Richard S. Blumberg
Barbara Detrick
Manfred Dierich
Robert L. Fairchild
Ronald Falk
Vijay Kuchroo
Michael T. Lotze
Robert B. Nussenblatt
Elaine Reed
Bart Roep
Lanny J. Rosenwasser
Daniel Rotrosen
John E. Sims
Kendall A. Smith
E. William St. Clair
Kathleen E. Sullivan
Megan Sykes
Lisbeth Welniak

FOCIS Update

FOCIS Update is published four times a year by the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies. All editorial communications should be directed to:
Letter from the FOCIS 2009 Organizing Committee Chair

Dear Friends,

Jacques Banchereau FOCIS 2009 will build upon the science presented at FOCIS 2008, as the vast arena of clinical immunology can not possibly be covered in just one meeting. As such, we have decided to cover all areas over two years so that regular participants can benefit from a comprehensive set of complementary lectures. The Organizing Committee has been working hard to ensure the highest caliber speakers and sessions for FOCIS 2009. This innovative meeting will give a strong emphasis to research performed in human beings and covers several areas of medicine where the immune system is at fault: autoimmunity, immunodeficiencies, infections and inflammation. The most up-to-date listing of scientific sessions and speakers are available at

I encourage you to reserve your more exciting data for FOCIS 2009 and submit your abstracts at before January 14. Up to 10 submissions will be selected for presentation within the FOCIS program and many more will be featured in the daily oral abstract sessions, and in the poster hall.

I also encourage you to arrive on Thursday, June 11, as your registration includes a full day of education on Thursday along with the official Scientific Program which kicks off Thursday evening and concludes on Sunday evening (to accommodate attendees' travel schedules and clinical responsibilities). Thursday kicks off with Member Society symposia in the morning and early afternoon, followed by Jerry Nepom's Presidential Address in the late afternoon. The evening will feature a Welcome Reception with table top exhibitions and posters. Be sure to stay through Sunday evening, as the meeting will conclude with a distinguished lecture.

I look forward to collaborating with you in San Francisco in June!

Jacques Banchereau
Jacques Banchereau, PhD
Baylor Institute for Immunology Research
FOCIS 2009 Organizing Committee Co-Chair

FOCIS 2009
FOCIS 2009 • June 11-14 • San Francisco Marriott, California, USA

Submission deadline: January 14, 2009
Click here to learn more about abstract submission guidelines and procedures, as well as learn how you can qualify for a travel award.

Important Dates & Deadlines:
Abstracts, registration and housing open:
Abstract submission closes:
Meeting registration deadline for poster presenters:
Headquarter hotel registration discount deadline:
Meeting registration deadline:
FOCIS 2009:
Wednesday, November 19
Wednesday, January 14
Wednesday, March 4
Friday, April 17
Friday, May 1
Thursday, June 11 - Sunday, June 14

Member Society Symposia at FOCIS 2009
New this year, the meeting will begin with a full day of Member Society Symposia on Thursday, June 11. The symposia are included in your FOCIS 2009 registration.

Sessions include:

FOCIS 2009 Course Package
FOCIS 2009 not only provides attendees with an excellent line-up of highly lauded speakers covering the most recent discoveries in the field, it is also home to two courses from the FOCIS Educational Portfolio. The two days prior to the main scientific program delegates have the opportunity to attend the two courses listed below.

Basic Immunology in Medicine is FOCIS' longest running course and the Interventional Immunology course will be presented for the second time at FOCIS 2009. Both courses sold out at FOCIS 2008. Registration for each course is $150 and a special package rate of $225 applies if you attend both. Please see the descriptions below and visit for more details.

Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2009
As new immunotherapeutic strategies are being developed and adopted, it is becoming important to understand the rationale behind these therapies, and this also requires an appreciation of the fundamentals of immunology.
Thinker Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2009
Wednesday, June 10 at FOCIS 2009
San Francisco, California, USA

Register Now

Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2009 provides a sophisticated review of selected basic principles, and an update on new advances, especially those that are most relevant to human disease. Staying abreast of these advances is essential for practitioners of medicine and for researchers in academia and industry.

At the Forefront of Medicine – Interventional Immunology
The Interventional Immunology course is back for the second year. Following a sell-out crowd in Boston in 2008, the course promises to provide updates to immunological knowledge. This one-day course recognizes the need for and provides education on the many new therapies that are currently available or in development which are based on targets unfamiliar to many practicing physicians.
Interventional Immunology Interventional Immunology
Thursday, June 11 at FOCIS 2009
San Francisco, California, USA

Register Now

The goal is to help understand the rationale and mechanism underlying the major pharmacologic approaches for interventional immunology in current practice and review the track record of the different therapeutic approaches in different specialties.

Register Now - Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology
There are only a few spots left for the Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology. View the agenda and register online now! This popular four-day course takes place in sunny Scottsdale and features sessions that cover new advances in interventional clinical immunology and the molecular and genetic basis of immunologically-mediated diseases.
Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology
February 18-22, 2009
Mondrian Hotel
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Register Now

Basic Immunology To Go
Basic Immunology in Medicine, directed by Abul Abbas, MD, University of California-San Francisco and Andrew Lichtman, MD, PhD, Brigham & Women's Hospital is FOCIS' longest running course. A long-standing offering at the FOCIS Annual Meeting, this course is also packaged "To-Go" and held at corporate sites, academic institutions and at Member Society meetings. The course has been held at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting, the American College of Rheumatology State-of-the-Art Symposium, Biogen Idec and Amgen.

Here’s what attendees are saying:
For more information about conducting the course at your site please contact Sarah Krause.

Member Society Spotlight: American Society for Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics
American Society for Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics In 1974, The American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) was established as 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 and application of histocompatibility and immunogenetics, providing a forum for the exchange of information, and advocating the highest standards of laboratory testing in the interest of optimal patient care.

Top 3 Strategic Initiatives:
  1. Development of the ASHI Lab Center - a web-based site where members can get information, subscribe to and enter results for PT, as well as be a central site for Accreditation to assign inspectors, receive accreditation applications, review applications and PT results by Commissioners, etc.
  2. Development of a sound and self-sustaining proficiency testing program that also gives ASHI the opportunity to add a stronger educational component in the report.
  3. Continue to reach out to other transplant and immunogenetic organizations for collaborative studies, seminars and discussion.

Recently, the Accreditation Review Board has received CMS approval to add General Immunology to ASHI's accreditation categories. ASHI also held joint symposia sessions with FOCIS and AABB in 2008 and launched ASHI University as an on-line resource for information and continuing education.

What is on the horizon for ASHI? Currently a summary of the Transplantation Histocompatibility Conference sponsored in March 2008 by the American Society for Histocompatibility (ASHI), the American Society of Transplantation (AST), the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is in the final stages. The ASHI Web site is being redesigned and will be available by the end of 2008.

For more information on the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, visit

FOCIS Centers of Excellence Spotlight
Cincinnati Children's Hospital: Alexandra Filipovich

Alexandra Filipovich FOCIS: What is the coolest way that you facilitate interdisciplinary research?

Filipovich: We organize a monthly interdisciplinary conference centered around a challenging patient, which is called "Clinical Immunology Curiosities." Trainees and consultants from different divisions weigh in on the potential diagnoses and management. As an example of a useful outcome: one conference was centered on a patient with recurrent pulmonary lymphoproliferative disease who had been followed by the pulmonologists. It turned out the he has one of the relatively newly recognized primary immunodeficiencies – XLP2 (BIRC4 defect). Since then the pulmonologists have been attuned to the discovery of more such patients and other PIDDS. This month we are discussing consequences of mixed hematologic chimerism following multivisceral organ transplants.

FOCIS: Why do you dig immunology?

Filipovich: I became drawn to immunology as a med student working in the early clinical immunology lab at the University of Minnesota. My job was to set up the assays for determination of T cells by E rosetting – a technique which had just been described. In my spare time I went digging through boxes of old, discolored, hand-written notebooks from students of Dr. Robert Good describing the earliest attempts at bone marrow transplantation. I regret that those files can no longer be found. However, the experience ignited my interest in transplantation, especially for primary immunodeficiencies, and afforded me a career which is truly a life-time learning experience.

FOCIS: What's your vision for the future of immunology?

Filipovich: The study of immunology has a bright future. I believe it holds the key to many safer and more effective treatments for life-threatening as well as chronic disorders. I look forward to a greater understanding of the links between the neurologic and immune systems – which share a fate as systemic responders to internal and external environments.

Keystone Symposia: Mobilizing Cellular Immunity for Cancer Therapy
January 11 - 16, 2009
Snowbird, Utah, USA

Keystone Symposia: Innate, Adaptive and Regulatory Immune Responses to Intestinal Microbiota
January 13 - 18, 2009
Taos, New Mexico, USA

Keystone Symposia: Allergy and Asthma
January 20 - 25, 2009
Keystone, Colorado, USA

Keystone Symposia: Fibrosis
January 20 - 25, 2009
Keystone, Colorado, USA

Keystone Symposia: Multiple Sclerosis
January 21 - 26, 2009
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Keystone Symposia: TH17 Cells in Health and Disease
February 5 - 10, 2009
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Keystone Symposia: Immunologic Memory and Host Defense
February 8 - 13, 2009
Keystone, Colorado, USA

Keystone Symposia: B Cells in Context
February 24 - March 1, 2009
Taos, New Mexico, USA

Keystone Symposia: Regulatory T Cells
March 1 - 6, 2009
Keystone, Colorado, USA

Cytokine Therapies: Novel Approaches for Clinical Indications
March 26 - 28, 2009
New York City, New York, USA

Keystone Symposia: Pattern Recognition Molecules and Immune Sensors of Pathogens
March 29 - April 3, 2009
Banff, Alberta, Canada

Keystone Symposia: Dendritic Cells
March 29 - April 3, 2009
Banff, Alberta, Canada

Keystone Symposia: Human Immunology and Immunodeficiencies
May 12 - 17, 2009
Beijing, China

15th Nantes/Actualités/Transplantation - Beta Cell Replacement in Diabetes
June 18 - 19, 2009
Nantes, France

14th International Congress of Mucosal Immunology (ICMI 2009)
July 5 - 9, 2009
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

ASHI 35th Annual Meeting
November 2 - 6, 2009
San Francisco, California, USA

14th International Congress of Immunology
August 22 - 27, 2010
Kobe, Japan

ASHI 36th Annual Meeting
September 25 - 29, 2010
Hollywood, Florida, USA

ASHI 37th Annual Meeting
October 17 - 21, 2011
New Orleans, Louisiana,USA

Career Opportunities
Merck Serono - Senior Scientist - Immunology (B Cell biology) Geneva Research Center – 0800200
Merck Serono - Senior Scientist - Immunology (Cytokine biology) Geneva Research Center – 0800201
Merck Serono - Senior Scientist - Immunology (Inflammation) Geneva Research Center – 0800389
Merck Serono - Senior Scientist - Immunology (T Cell Biology) Geneva Research Center – 0800387

Post your career opportunities on the FOCIS website
Job posting rates:
$75 per posting – academic/non-profit/government
$125 per posting – industry

Job postings should be 250 words or less and will remain on the website for 90 days. To post your opportunities please Sarah Krause.

FOCIS is a federation of societies that unite under the common mission to improve human health through immunology.

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 Nephrology • American Society of Transplantation • American Uveitis Society
Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis • Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists
Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy • 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
German Society of Immunology • Immunology of Diabetes Society • International Complement Society
International Cytokine Society International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research
International Society for NeuroImmunoModulation • International Society of Neuroimmunology
International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer • Israel Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Italian Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology • Lithuanian Society of Pulmonology and Allergy
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 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