Letter from the President
What an exciting time to be in the field of clinical immunology. The Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) is at the forefront of many of the current medical and research initiatives by providing a forum for networking, education and research collaboratives for talented people across immunology disciplines. As the new president of FOCIS, I look forward to continuing these initiatives and building new opportunities as the community evolves.
The most recent FOCIS accomplishment is the completion of the 9th Annual Meeting, FOCIS 2009. More than 1,000 delegates attended the meeting June 11-14 in San Francisco, which capped a year of successful educational programs designed to further the immunological knowledge of trainees, investigators, basic scientists and clinicians. Behind the scenes at FOCIS 2009, some organizational transitions took place: After two years of dedicated leadership, Jerry Nepom's term as President came to an end and Abul Abbas assumed the role of FOCIS Vice President. Jacques Banchereau joined the FOCIS Board along with Elaine Reed, who will be assuming the Membership Chair position as George Eisenbarth stepped down after laying the groundwork for the committee. We also welcome the energy of Scott Plevy as the Education Committee Vice-Chair alongside Andrew Lichtman.
In less than 12 months we will reconvene for the 10th Anniversary of FOCIS at FOCIS 2010, June 24-27 in Boston, Massachusetts. A special program will reflect the journey of FOCIS and the remarkable pace of advances in our field. Olivera Finn, Joan Goverman and Steve Ziegler will be joined by Program Committee members Jacques Banchereau, Adrian Hayday, Mark Davis and Linda Baum in planning a not-to-be-missed conference.
The purpose of FOCIS is to improve human health through immunology. The core interdisciplinary value of FOCIS is to accomplish this by translating new knowledge from basic science into multiple clinical disciplines, to both understand and treat immune-based diseases. FOCIS is maintaining a tradition of strong and committed leadership and as the new FOCIS president I look forward to working with all of you to encourage broad and effective evolution of this concept throughout the scientific and medical community. I look forward to your participation.
Jonathan Braun, MD, PhD
That's a Wrap! FOCIS 2009
Thank you to everyone who participated in FOCIS 2009, June 11-14 in San Francisco, California, USA. More than 1,000 delegates, 550 abstracts, 18 exhibitors and 37 sessions culminated in an exceptional translational conference for sharing knowledge and speeding progress in the field of human immunology. Special thanks to the FOCIS 2009 Organizing Committee for their time and talent in putting together a superb lineup of topics and speakers.
Jacques Banchereau, PhD
Baylor Institute for Immunology Research
Olivera Finn, PhD
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Thank You FOCIS 2009 Industry Partners!
Joan Goverman, PhD
Steven Ziegler, PhD
FOCIS Industry Liaison Council
FOCIS 2009 Major Supporters
FOCIS 2009 Contributing Supporters
Online CME Available
Celebrate FOCIS' 10th Anniversary
FOCIS 2009 session evaluations are available online. Once you have completed your evaluations and post-test, you can print your CME or Attendance Certificate from home.
Your feedback is an essential part of the planning for future FOCIS education. If you have not already, please take the time to complete the evaluations at http://data.express-evaluations.com/eval/37190/web/main.php
. Your username is your email address and your password is your last name, all lower case.
June 24-27, 2010
Boston Marriott Copley Place, USA
Abstract submission opens in November; details to follow. See you in Boston!
A HIP Concept
Many people are familiar with the FOCIS Network of Consortia, born in 2006 when autoimmune disease genome-wide association scans were beginning to take off. FOCIS provided a forum to bring people from various autoimmune consortia together and effectively accelerated the progress that has jump started functional studies. As the genome-wide association scans move from genotype to phenotype and function, FOCIS is moving with it through the creation of the Human Immunophenotyping Consortium (HIP-C). Holden Maecker and Phil McCoy have taken the lead on this project that aims to develop a central process and standards for collection, management and transport of specimens and data. This group held their first meeting immediately following FOCIS 2009. Stay tuned for more to come!
FOCISed, the FOCIS Educational Portfolio, was off and running as FOCIS 2009 hosted two educational programs. The long-standing course, Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2009 and the Interventional Immunology course were both full of interested participants. Delegates were given the option to take the courses individually or to attend both for a discounted rate. Over half of the delegates opted for the package to begin with the Basic course and build upon it with the Interventional course the next day.
Both courses will be offered again in the same manner next year at FOCIS 2010 in Boston. We look forward to seeing you there!
The next FOCIS educational opportunity is the 2010 Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology. The course will be held:
February 24-28, 2010
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Students in this course include clinical fellows, trainees in the pharmaceutical industry, and practicing academic physicians who find the need to enhance their understanding of immunology. Invited speakers lecture on the major topics in cellular and molecular immunology, including innate immunity, B cells, T cells, and cytokines. There will be ample opportunity for attendees to interact with the faculty outside the lecture room.
FOCIS Member Society Spotlight: International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer
The International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer (iSBTc) was established in 1984 to facilitate the exchange and promotion of scientific information about the development of biological therapies for patients with cancer among basic scientists, clinicians, regulatory groups and biotech/Pharma. iSBTc membership consists of over 500 medical professionals with a constituency of academic, government, industry, clinical, and basic scientists from around the world who share the common mission of improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the development and application of biological therapy.
The Society was founded on the belief that new systemic therapeutic treatments would complement chemotherapies and move into the mainstream in the fight against cancer. With several high-caliber scientific meetings focusing on clinical and translational aspects of biologic approaches to cancer treatment and numerous networking and collaboration opportunities unique to this organization, iSBTc has developed into the premier destination for interaction and innovation in cancer biologics. Workshops on Biomarkers and Surrogates, Immunologic Effects of Targeted Therapies, Cancer and Inflammation have been held to promote consideration of important and emergent issues in the field.
iSBTc's Strategic Initiatives:
Forge new partnerships and collaborations with organizations in the field to accelerate scientific progress and develop personalized medicine. How we're achieving it:
- iSBTc-FDA-NCI Workshop on Prognostic and Predictive Immunologic Biomarkers in Cancer to be held October 28, 2009
- iSBTc Clinical Endpoint and Response Criteria Working Group to explore clinical trial design, endpoints and response criteria from a biologics perspective
- iSBTc Oncology Biologics Development Primer to explore and discuss best practices for biologics development, held February 28-29, 2008
Improve opportunities for dissemination and discussion of biologic therapies among various constituents. How we're achieving it:
- iSBTc biological therapy subsection in an online open-access journal with opportunity for commentary [Journal of Translational Medicine]
- Publication of guidance documents on topics relevant to the field
- Sponsorship and promotion of the Journal of Immunotherapy
Initiate and strengthen relationships with international scientific and regulatory organizations in immunotherapy/biological therapy. How we're achieving it:
- Global Regulatory Summit: Considerations in the Development of Oncology Biologics Products for the Treatment of Cancer held October 29, 2008
- Strategic programmatic alliances with related international organizations
iSBTc 24th Annual Scientific Meeting & Biomarkers Workshop
, October 28-31, 2009 - Washington, D.C.
FOCIS Centers of Excellence Spotlight: University of California – San Diego, Arthur Kavanaugh
What is the coolest way that you facilitate interdisciplinary research?
It has been known that a number of immunologic mechanisms and pathways are common among distinct autoimmune systemic inflammatory diseases. As knowledge has grown, commonalities have been noted to an even greater extent. However, as the diseases were often pigeon-holed into different specialties for historical reasons, there was not a great push for interdisciplinary interactions. What has changed this has been the introduction of biologic agents that target specific components of the immune system. The use of these novel agents has brought clinicians from various disciplines together for research, clinical practice, and educational programs.
Why do you dig immunology?
Mechanisms - being able to understand diseases at such a refined level; Evolution - immunology is so dynamic, and changes by incredible leaps and bounds; Application - the ability to bring developments from the bench to the bedside...and then bring findings from the bedside back to the bench!
What's your vision for the future of immunology?
I think the future is incredibly bright, particularly with translational work that helps delineate mechanisms of action of targeted therapies. That will help pave the way for additional therapies. Greater understanding of the intricacies of the immune system and its dysregulation in various autoimmune conditions will yield further viable targets. The progress in therapeutics, in turn, raises the bar as regards outcomes, so that we may truly optimize the healthcare of patients with these important conditions.
ASHI 35th Annual Meeting
November 2-6, 2009
San Francisco, California, USA
4th European Workshop on Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases
November 18-20, 2009
XXI World Allergy Congress
December 6-10, 2009
Buenos Aires, Argentina
5th International Conference on Ocular Infections
February 18-21, 2010
Palm Beach, Florida, USA
FOCIS Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology
February 24-28, 2010
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
FOCIS Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2010 Course
June 23, 2010
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
FOCIS Interventional Immunology Course
June 24, 2010
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
June 24-28, 2010
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
14th International Congress of Immunology
August 22 - 27, 2010
ASHI 36th Annual Meeting
September 25-29, 2010
Hollywood, Florida, USA
ASHI 37th Annual Meeting
October 17-21, 2011
New Orleans, Louisiana,USA
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.
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
European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology
• European Society for Immunodeficiencies
European Society for Organ Transplantation
• 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
• Japanese Society for 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