Letter from the President
Ten years! In the coming year, FOCIS will celebrate its tenth year of serving as an incubator for the translational immunology community. Many of you will remember that the organization emerged in 2001 with a vision: To provide a collaborative forum for education, research and networking joining basic and medical disciplines engaged in immunology innovation. Our nine annual meetings have met in Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Montreal and Paris. We have co-programmed with IUIS in the past three International Congresses, and will again at the 2010 Meeting in Kobe, Japan, August 22-27. The FOCIS Educational Programs, FOCISed, now includes a full portfolio of intensively subscribed courses in Basic, Advanced and Interventional Immunology, and Basic Immunology To-Go programs serving the corporate immunology community. The FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCE) are advancing interdisciplinary training and research in immunology at 58 sites in the US and internationally. The FCE European core under the leadership of Stefan Meuer has developed a remarkable initiative that has secured EU funding. The FOCIS Research committee, under Steve Rich and David Hafler, initiated the Network of Consortium that has accelerated inter-disease genome-wide research.
It's hard to believe that it's already ten years, but there is much to celebrate, and an exciting year ahead. In addition to the FOCISed programs, in March 2010, the Board of Directors will meet for our annual strategic planning meeting to identify ways we can better accelerate the definition and dissemination of therapeutic immunology and the immunophenotyping required for their selection and assessment. We will also look at how a federation structure can assist, accelerate or advance this vision. We will address questions such as: Should the FOCIS Centers of Excellence network play a larger role? Are there knowledge gaps outside of the current FOCISed portfolio that need to be addressed? And, what are the strategies for revenue in the rapidly evolving CME, corporate, academic and clinical environment? These questions and others will engage FOCIS and our community as we enter our next ten years.
FOCIS is now exploring a long-held vision to launch a top-tier journal addressing the need to capture the ferment in interdisciplinary translational immunology. We are interested in an open access, online journal with print as a secondary vehicle. At this early stage, we are exploring all options and we welcome your input.
A new initiative of the FOCIS Research Committee is the Human Immunophenotyping Consortium (HIP-C). Under the leadership of Philip McCoy and Holden Maecker, this broad-based group of scientists in academic, industry, and governmental organizations is developing a new model for harmonizing immune monitoring in clinical trials and streamlining the complexities of pre-analytic and analytic processes, instrument standardization, and data analysis.
The FOCIS 2010 program is nearly complete under the dynamic leadership of Olivera Finn and the 2010 Organizing Committee, who you will meet later in this newsletter. This colorful and dedicated group has assembled a program of truly cutting-edge research; and for our 10th year, additional special features to highlight the progress and key contributors over the past decade's journey of immunology.
I welcome your comments on any of these initiatives and thank you for making the journey with us. See you at FOCIS 2010 or sooner!
Jonathan Braun, MD, PhD
FOCIS Celebrates 10 Years of Improving Human Health through Immunology
For its 10th Anniversary, FOCIS returns to its roots in Boston, the site of the 1st Annual Meeting in 2001. FOCIS 2010 will be held June 24 – 27, 2010 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.
The major themes of the meeting include Immunoregulation, Immunotherapy, Immunogenetics/Genomics, Immunodiagnosis and Host Defense. These pillars provide the structure under which this interdisciplinary meeting has thrived for the past ten years. Please join FOCIS and illuminating speakers such as Tony Fauci, Laurie Glimcher, Mark Feldman, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Jeff Bluestone, Megan Sykes, Maria Grazia Roncarlo and Ron Levy as we highlight the evolution of immunology over the past ten years and look down the road at what is to come.
Special thanks to the FOCIS 2010 Organizing Committee who continue to put great work and thought into creating a stellar scientific program.
Olivera Finn, PhD
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Jacques Banchereau, PhD
Baylor Institute for Immunology Research
Linda Baum, MD, PhD
University of California
- Los Angeles
Be Seen at FOCIS 2010
Mark Davis, PhD
Joan Goverman, PhD
Adrian Hayday, PhD
Steven Ziegler, PhD
Now is the time to plan your company's participation at the premier meeting in clinical immunology. From exhibit booths and bag inserts to keynote symposia and travel awards, there are a multitude of great ways to put your company's name and product line in front of the decision makers in the world of immunology and its related disciplines. Please review the FOCIS 2010 Support Opportunities Brochure
and contact Gail Bast, FOCIS Executive Director
to secure your visibility package today!
The FOCIS Educational Portfolio (FOCISed) is gearing up for another strong year in 2010. As FOCIS celebrates its 10th anniversary, the Advanced Course in Basic Immunology celebrates its 5th year of sold-out courses. This course includes lectures on the major topics in cellular and molecular immunology, including innate immunity, B cells, T cells and cytokines. Special sessions will cover new advances in interventional clinical immunology and the molecular and genetic basis of immunologically-mediated diseases. Held at the fantastic Mondrian hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Advanced Course provides a combination of intense education, thought-provoking discussions and relaxing networking. Registration is available at www.focisnet.org.
Be sure to secure your spot quickly as this course has a history of selling out quickly!
In June, the seasoned course, Basic Immunology in Medicine pairs with the newest FOCIS course, Interventional Immunology. The courses are designed to complement each other and are designed to be taken as a package. Reduced rates apply when you take both courses. Registration opens online at www.focisnet.org on December 2.
These courses were created after the realization that the rapid pace of research is leading to fundamental advances in the understanding of immune responses and their abnormalities. As new immunotherapeutic strategies are being developed and adopted, it is important to understand the rationale behind them. Staying abreast of these advances is essential for practitioners of medicine and for researchers in academia and industry alike.
The Basic Immunology course is designed to provide a sophisticated review of selected basic principles, and update on new advances, especially those that are most relevant to human disease.
The Interventional Immunology Course takes the next step by providing education on new therapies that are currently available or in development which are based on targets that may be unfamiliar to many practicing physicians. There is great value for, but lack of, cross-disciplinary reviews of these types of therapies. This course seeks to review the scientific basis for the choice of immunologically-related therapeutic targets in various diseases, including organ specific and systemic autoimmunity, allergy, transplant rejection, cancer, and HIV. 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.
FOCIS Member Society Spotlight: European Society for Organ Transplantation
The European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT) (www.esot.org
) was founded in 1982 and its objectives are to promote research, education and excellence in the field of solid organ transplantation in Europe. The Society represents an exceptional opportunity for the transplantation community to put forward opinions and to elaborate a European identity in the scientific, therapeutic and ethical domains. ESOT membership consists of over 1,200 medical professionals, coordinators, basic scientists and nursing members. The official journal of ESOT is Transplant International
which is published monthly.
ESOT activities are organized around Organ Expert Sections and Committees. Organ Expert Sections within ESOT deal with different aspects of transplantation include EPITA (pancreas and islet), ELITA (liver and intestine) and ELPAT (ethical, legal and psychosocial). Committees of ESOT include: Thoracic Committee (heart and lung), Ambassador Committee (to promote membership), European Basic Science for Organ Transplantation (EBSOT), the Education Committee and the European Donation Committee. EBSOT has created a network of Laboratories of Excellence in Europe - Basic Transplantation Research to promote basic research.
ESOT cooperates with many European and international transplant organizations to structure and streamline transplant activities. These organizations include: The Transplantation Society (International), American Society of Transplantation (AST) and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), MESOT (Middle-East) and SLATC (Latin America).
ESOT trains and supports its members through an extensive educational program from basic science to clinical specialties with a total of 10 courses. Some are directly linked to immunology such as the Basic Science Symposium in partnership with TTS in March 2009 and the future one in 2011, the Hesperis course and the Laboratory Skills course. The next Laboratory Skills course will be focused in the analysis of dendritic cell subsets and will be held in Nantes, France in July 2010. All ESOT courses are CME accredited.
Among its scientific activities, ESOT also holds a biennial meeting. The last one which was held in early September 2009 was a success, attracting more than 3,700 participants with more than 1,500 abstracts submitted. The next meeting will take place In Glasgow September 4-7, 2011. A future meeting centered on Biological Agents in Transplantation will be jointly organized with AST in Nice (France) in 2010.
FOCIS Centers of Excellence Spotlight: The Feinstein Institute, Betty Diamond
What is the coolest way that you facilitate interdisciplinary research?
We have an annual retreat of the entire institute. The opportunity to learn what each lab is doing enormously facilitates interactions. The retreat is at Mohonk Mountain House. The location is beautiful and the audience captive.
Why do you dig immunology?
Immunology is exquisite. The mechanisms that preserve homeostasis despite multiple genetic and environmental perturbations are extraordinary. The new discoveries made, it seems, on an hourly basis about the intricacies of the immune system and the interconnections between the innate and adaptive arms are intoxicating. And the applications to human health are myriad.
What's your vision for the future of immunology?
That immunology will develop a more global perspective. As we consider how parasites were the dominant force shaping the evolution of the immune system, we will develop new insights into the diseases that afflict industrialized societies. Over the next several years, we will also, no doubt, learn more about the early detection of pathologic immune dysregulation and therapeutics will transition from treatment to prevention.
Highlighting Trainees: FOCIS Centers of Excellence Annual Trainee Satellite Symposium
The Trainee Satellite Symposium (TSS) brings together trainees from the 58 FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCE) to share research in a friendly, collaborative environment. TSS also provides the opportunity for double exposure as trainees may present their abstracts at TSS and during the FOCIS Annual Meeting which begins the same day. Trainees will have direct interaction with their counterparts from across the country and the globe as well as with FCE Directors who are leaders in their field. FCE Directors will be present throughout TSS to provide mentoring and feedback on oral presentations and posters. FCE Directors are kindly reminded to begin considering trainees for FOCIS 2010. The trainee nomination deadline is January 14, 2010.
Interested in becoming a FOCIS Center of Excellence (FCE)? Please visit the FCE website
for more information, to view a list of the current centers and directors and to download an application.
4th European Workshop on Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases
November 18-20, 2009
2009 Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Clinical & Research Conference
December 3-6, 2009
Hollywood, Florida, USA
XXI World Allergy Congress
December 6-10, 2009
Buenos Aires, Argentina
HIV Biology and Pathogenesis
January 12-17, 2010
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Cell Biology of Virus Entry, Replication and Pathogenesis
February 16-21, 2010
Taos, New Mexico, USA
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
2010 BMT Tandem Meetings (Joint Annual Meeting of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) and the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR))
February 24-28, 2010
Orlando, Florida, USA
Lymphocyte Activation and Gene Expression
February 27-March 4, 2010
Breckenridge, Colorado, USA
Malaria: New Approaches to Understanding Host-Parasite Interactions
April 11-16, 2010
Copper Mountain, Colorado, USA
Molecular Targets for Control of Vector-Borne Diseases: Bridging Lab and Field Research
April 11-16, 2010
Copper Mountain, Colorado, USA
XXIX Congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
June 5-9, 2010
London, United Kingdom
Bioactive Lipids: Biochemistry and Diseases
June 6-11, 2010
Innate Immunity: Mechanisms Linking with Adaptive Immunity
June 7-12, 2010
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 24-27, 2010
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
14th International Congress of Immunology
August 22 - 27, 2010
ASHI 36th Annual Meeting
September 25-29, 2010
Hollywood, Florida, USA
8th Asia Pacific Congress of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology (APCAACI 2010)
November 7-10, 2010
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 email 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
• Immune Tolerance Network
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
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
• 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