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 President

Dear Colleagues,

Gerald T. Nepom As our field rapidly advances in clinical trials and the introduction of new and specific immunotherapies, the opportunity to share our knowledge and speed our progress has never been greater. FOCIS 2009, the premiere conference in translational immunology, is fast approaching, and we invite you to participate. The FOCIS 2009 Organizing Committee, led by Jacques Banchereau, has selected topics and speakers from a comprehensive array of disease areas that address underlying immune pathogenesis, novel therapies, and shared insights. This year's program features topics such as the Inflammatory Microenvironment; Beyond Genomics; Sensing Microbes; Mucosal Autoimmunity and Immune Response to Infection.

Remember: This year the meeting program begins on Thursday, June 11, and runs through Sunday evening; June 14. A complete listing of the FOCIS 2009 science and speakers are available in the Preliminary Program. In addition to the scientific program, FOCIS 2009 also hosts FOCIS Member Societies' Symposia and FOCIS Educational Courses. These symposia provide the opportunity for in-depth coverage of more focused topics which are of particular interest to specific member societies, and serve as a prelude to the excitement of the FOCIS 2009 meeting itself. The listing of June 11 opportunities can be found in the Preliminary Program.

FOCIS 2009 is also the setting for two popular education courses developed by the FOCIS Education Committee. Andy Lichtman and Abul Abbas, together with Interventional Immunology Course Director, William St. Clair, have developed a great two-day program. Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2009 held June 10 in combination with Interventional Immunology on June 11 offer a comprehensive education experience from bedside to bench and back again. For more information on the courses please visit the FOCIS Education page.

The FOCIS 2009 programs are a major element fueling the FOCIS mission to improve human health through immunology. We look forward to your participation and energy at FOCIS 2009 to further this goal.

See you in San Francisco!

Best regards,

Gerald T. Nepom
Gerald T. Nepom, MD, PhD
FOCIS President

FOCIS 2009

Register & book accommodations now for discounted rates!

Important Dates & Deadlines:
Poster presenter meeting registration deadline:
Headquarter hotel registration discount deadline:    
Meeting registration deadline:
FOCIS 2009:
March 4
April 17
May 1
June 11 - 14

Abstract Influx
FOCIS received more than 530 abstract submissions for FOCIS 2009. Notification regarding acceptance or rejection of abstracts will be made to the contact author via email by February 23, 2009. This email will contain the title, date and time of the oral or poster session in which the abstract has been programmed. Co-authors will not receive notification. If your abstract's contact author does not receive notification of your abstract's status, please contact the FOCIS Executive Office at (414) 359-1670 or

NEW! Member Society Symposia, Thursday, June 11
All Member Society symposia are included in the general FOCIS 2009 registration fee and do not require additional registration.

Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases Consortium 8:00 am-4:30 pm
Clinical Immunology Society and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
This symposium brings together experts in the field to discuss recent clinical updates as well as material related to our understanding of the scientific processes affected in various primary immune deficiencies. This symposium will enhance the knowledge of physicians and basic researchers in the field but will ultimately lead to improved patient care.

Non-classical Functions of Immune Molecules/Cells in the CNS 8:00 am-4:30 pm
International Society of Neuroimmunology and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
The important functions immune molecules and cells play in the CNS in health and disease have long been recognized and studied. Most investigations, however, focus on the traditional roles these molecules/cells perform in the context of inflammation and classical immune responses. This workshop will focus on the non-traditional, atypical roles immune cells and molecules can play in the neurodevelopment and synaptic plasticity, as neuromodulators or in neuroprotection.

Immune Function Monitoring in Clinical Trials Noon-5:00 pm
Clinical Immunology Society and ILSI Health & Environmental Sciences Institute
This symposium will increase the awareness of the current testing paradigms used for immune function monitoring in clinical trials and the opportunities and challenges for the development and application of better approaches.

Commonalties in Autoimmunity: Genomics & Beyond Noon-5:00 pm
FOCIS Network of Consortia
The theme of this session is the expansion of knowledge of common genetic pathways, mechanisms and genotype-phenotype correlations in autoimmune diseases. There will be updates from existing genome-wide association scans for autoimmune diseases, identification of candidate genes that affect susceptibility to multiple autoimmune diseases, and initial efforts to understand the manner in which these genes affect risk.

Featured Courses at FOCIS 2009
FOCIS 2009 not only features a superior scientific program, it also plays host to two of the most popular FOCIS educational courses: Basic Immunology in Medicine and Interventional Immunology. Register now to avoid missing these courses that sold out quickly in previous years.

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 Marriott
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.

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 Marriott
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.

Fresh Science in a Hot Spot: FOCIS Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology
The Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology was held February 18-22, 2009 at the Mondrian Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona, with course directors Abul Abbas, MD, University of California San Francisco, and Andrew Lichtman, MD, PhD, Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Invited speakers lectured on the major topics in cellular and molecular immunology, including innate immunity, B cells, T cells and cytokines. Special sessions covered new advances in interventional clinical immunology and the molecular and genetic basis of immune-mediated diseases.

The course's popularity continued in its fourth year, attracting 130 attendees and generating a lengthy waiting list. Contact now to reserve your spot on the waiting list for the 2010 course.

FOCIS thanks the following companies for their continued support:
biogen idec Boehringer Ingelheim Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company

Centocor Genentech

Member Society Spotlight: Clinical Immunology Society
Clinical Immunology Society Since the founding of the Clinical Immunology Society (CIS) in 1986, its mission has been to facilitate education, translational research and novel approaches to therapy in clinical immunology to promote excellence in the care of patients with immunologic/inflammatory disorders.

CIS is an international professional organization of investigators whose common interest lies in understanding the pathogenesis, perfecting the diagnosis, and enhancing the treatment of human diseases related to the immune system.

One of CIS' greatest accomplishments is the development of CIS Schools. The Schools are geared toward fellows in training and junior faculty, with a primary goal of education in the diagnosis, pathogenesis, and treatment of immunologically mediated diseases. The secondary goals of the Schools are to attract and develop future scientists in academic medicine and to enhance the awareness of clinical immunology and its importance in scientific discoveries and clinical applications.

CIS currently hosts schools in the topics of: Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases, Systemic Autoimmune Diseases, and Hypersensitivity & Allergic Diseases. The mission of CIS Schools is to train young investigators in an intensive course of study in an informal setting that encourages active participation.

CIS will also host two member society symposia at FOCIS 2009 on June 11, 2009:
1. Immune Function Monitoring in Clinical Trials
The primary objective of this meeting is to increase the awareness of the current testing paradigms used for immune function monitoring in clinical trials and the opportunities and challenges for the development and application of better approaches. At the conclusion of this symposium, attendees will have a strong understanding of the following:
2. Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases Consortium
This symposium will bring together experts in the field to discuss recent clinical updates as well as material related to our understanding of the scientific processes affected in various primary immune deficiencies. The major goals of the symposium are to enhance knowledge of physicians and basic science researchers in the field of immunology. The rapidly moving nature of immunology is reflected in many state-of-the art sessions and the unique bench-to-bedside relationship in immunology will be emphasized.

FOCIS Centers of Excellence Spotlight
University Hospital Motol and 2nd Medical School of Charles University: Jirina Bartunkova

Jirina Bartunkova FOCIS: What is the coolest way that you facilitate interdisciplinary research?

Bartunkova: We managed to establish a dynamic network within our large University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech Republic. Within this network, our department plays a role of a consultant and collaborator for other medical disciplines. We hold special ad hoc meetings concentrating on complicated cases and also run long term research projects in collaboration with clinical departments which greatly facilitates translational research. We share our knowledge base with other departments.

FOCIS: Why do you dig immunology?

Bartunkova: Immunology is more exciting than any TV soap opera. Such a bunch of many characters, thousands of relationships, never ending story... Fascinating discipline that evolves very rapidly and requires constant attention in order to follow the latest developments. There is no space for routine in immunology; that’s why I like it.

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

Bartunkova: Recent discoveries in immunology shed light on lots of old medical puzzles. We have always hoped that fascinating advances in the basic science will one day translate from bench to bedside and improve the management of patients with immunopathologies. I am personally thrilled to see this happening in the recent years, as for example in the case of the use of monoclonal antibodies-based therapy. I expect this trend to continue and hope that the patients will soon be able to profit from other basic research achievements, such as cancer immunotherapy.

The FOCIS Centers of Excellence Network Welcomes New Directors
Welcome new directors! We look forward to your contributions and to the continued involvement of Drs. Hahn, Klareskog, Goldman and Ritchlin.

Antonio La Cava Antonio La Cava has succeeded Bevra Hahn at the University of California, Los Angeles FCE.
Ola Wingvist Ola Winqvist has succeeded Lars Klareskog at the Karolinska Institute FCE.
Francoise Mascart Fracoise Mascart has succeeded Michel Goldman at the Ghent University FCE.
John Looney John Looney has succeeded Christopher Ritchlin at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

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

3rd Immunodiagnostics & Immunomonitoring Conference
April 23 - 24, 2009
Chicago, Illinois, USA

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

International Inaugural Certificate Program in Translational Medicine
May 17 – 23, 2009
Siracusa, Italy

Cancer Immunotherapy & Immunomonitoring Conference
May 18 - 21, 2009
Kiev, Ukraine

* Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2009 *
June 10, 2009
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

* Interventional Immunology *
June 10, 2009
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

* FOCIS 2009 *
June 11 - 14, 2009
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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

Society for Mucosal Immunology (SMI)/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

Grants Available
Remember to visit FOCIS Grants/Awards site regularly to view new grant opportunities in the field of clinical immunology and related disciplines. Grants are currently on the site from the NIAID, NIDDK, NIAMS, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Lupus Research Institute and many more.

Career Opportunities
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