Steering Committee Members
Jack P. Antel
Jeffrey A. Bluestone
Richard S. Blumberg
Michael T. Lotze
Robert B. Nussenblatt
Lanny J. Rosenwasser
John E. Sims
Kendall A. Smith
Matthais von Herrath
FOCIS Update is published four times a year by the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies. All editorial communications should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter from the President
FOCIS 2010, the premiere conference in translational immunology, is fast approaching, and I invite you to participate. The FOCIS 2010 Organizing Committee, led by Olivera Finn, has just completed abstract selections, and this year's program will be particularly exciting for new work and investigators in Novel Therapeutics, Immune Reconstitution, Tumor Immunity, Genomics, Microbiome and Host Pathogen Interface, and the lastest in Good and Bad B cells. It is also the 10th year of FOCIS, and special celebrations will mark this pleasant milestone.
Remember: The meeting program begins on Thursday, June 24, and runs through Sunday evening June 27. A complete listing of the FOCIS 2010 science and speakers are available in the Scientific Program. In addition to the scientific program, FOCIS 2010 also hosts FOCIS Member Society 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 2010 meeting itself. Click here to listen to the FOCIS 2010 Chair summarize the influence of human immunology in the scientific program.
FOCIS 2010 is also the setting for two popular education courses developed by the FOCIS Education Committee. Andrew Lichtman and Abul Abbas, together with Interventional Immunology Course Director, Scott Plevy, have developed a great two-day program. Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2010 held June 23 in combination with Interventional Immunology on June 24 offer a comprehensive education experience from bench to bedside and back again. For more information on the courses please visit the FOCIS Education page.
The FOCIS 2010 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 2010 to further this goal.
See you in Boston!
Jonathan Braun, MD, PhD
10 Year Program Sneak Peek: FOCIS 2010, June 24-27, Boston Marriott Copley Place
For its 10th Anniversary, FOCIS returns to its roots in Boston, the site of the 1st Annual Meeting and honors those who had the vision and tenacity to bring FOCIS to life and guide its growth and success. The opening keynote address will be followed by a special anniversary Founders Symposium. FOCIS fathers, C. Garrison Fathman, MD, Stanford University and David Hafler, MD, Yale University will give a historical perspective of what the medical landscape was before FOCIS, how it has changed and what lies in store for the future. The symposium promises to be powerful and motivating. The Founders Symposium kicks off a stellar scientific program that includes:
HIV Vaccinology: What Does The Future Hold?, Anthony Fauci, MD, NIAID/NIH Microbiota and Maturation of Intestinal T Cell Responses, Nadine Cerf-Bensussan, MD, PhD, Universite Paris Descartes Exploring Systems Medicine using Translational Bioinformatics, Atul Butte, MD, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine Inflammatory Diseases Regulated by T-bet, Laurie Glimcher, MD, Harvard University Human Thymic Epithelial Cell (Tec) in vitro and in vivo Systems for the Promotion of T Lymphopoiesis from Cord Blood Hematopoietic Stem Cells (Cb-Hsc), Phong Le, PhD, Loyola University Chicago
Human Immunology Prevails at FOCIS 2010
FOCIS 2010 Chair, Olivera Finn, discusses the prevalence of human immunology in the FOCIS 2010 program.
Important Dates & Deadlines:
Meeting registration deadline for poster presenters
Thursday, March 18
Headquarter hotel registration discount deadline
Wednesday, April 28
Meeting registration deadline
Wednesday, May 26
Thursday, June 24 through Sunday, June 27
FOCIS Societies Embody Interdisciplinary Programming at FOCIS 2010
Each year FOCIS invites the 43 societies that make up the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) to create their own programming on the first day of the FOCIS Annual Meeting. Societies are encouraged to collaborate with each other in programming to demonstrate the focus of FOCIS, interdisciplinary immunology. Three societies will be joined by the Human ImmunoPhenotyping Consortium and the Network of Consortia to present their programs on Thursday, June 24 at FOCIS 2010. Attendance at these symposia is included in your FOCIS 2010 registration. Please mark which sessions you plan to attend when registering so that FOCIS may plan accordingly for seating.
Islet Autoreactivity in Human T1D: Advancing Discovery of Biomarkers of Disease Progression and Intervention (view draft agenda) Co-organized by the Immunology of Diabetes Society & the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Cross-talk between Innate and Adaptive Immune Cells at Mucosal Surfaces: Implications for Mucosal Diseases (view draft agenda) Co-organized by the Society for Mucosal Immunology & the American Uveitis Society
The Future of Genomic Research in Immunity and Medicine (view draft agenda) Organized by FOCIS Network of Consortia Chairs Stephen Rich, PhD, University of Virginia and David Hafler, MD, Yale University
Approaches to Standardization/Proficiency Testing Panels Organized by FOCIS Human ImmunoPhenotyping Consortium Chairs Holden Maecker, PhD, Stanford University and Phil McCoy, MD, PhD, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH
Come in and Stay a While: FOCIS 2010 Registration & Housing
Discounted registration rates are available to delegates who register before May 26, 2010. Also, delegates who book their hotel rooms at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, FOCIS 2010 headquarters hotel, are eligible to receive further registration discounts before April 28. Simply select the appropriate registration option and enter the Marriott confirmation number when registering for FOCIS 2010 to receive the Headquarters Hotel Registration Discount.
Headquarters Hotel Registration Discount Now-April 28
Advance Now-May 26
Onsite May 27-June 27
(All rates include Member Society Symposia on Thursday, June 24)
Be Seen at FOCIS 2010
Now is the time to begin planning your company's participation at the premier conference in translational immunology. From exhibit booths and bag inserts to keynote symposia and travel awards, there are many 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!
Approaches to Standardization/Proficiency Testing Panels
FOCIS piloted in 2009 the concept of immune assessment by creating the Human ImmunoPhenotyping Consortium (HIP-C). The goal of the group is to standardize immunophenotyping. The first meeting was held at FOCIS 2009 last June in San Francisco. Since that time the consortium has met several times via conference call, drafted a paper for publication that outlines the necessary steps to standardization of immunophenotyping processes and plans to present a symposium on Thursday, June 24 at FOCIS 2010. FOCIS will post more information as it becomes available. Stay tuned for a not-to-be missed symposium!
The Future of Genomic Research in Immunity and Medicine
The FOCIS Network of Consortia (NOC) brings consortia together annually to hold cross-disciplinary meetings to promote the goal of ascertaining the molecular pathology of human disease. The NOC evolves from genome-wide association scans for autoimmune diseases into gene discovery and gene function. Two general areas of direction are medical resequencing of candidate genes and regions implicated in autoimmunity. An effort is already underway that is jointly sponsored by the FOCIS NOC, the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium and Roche 454. This research is sequencing regions in the human MHC, including HLA-D region variants that previously have not been characterized. A second area relates to the integration of genotype and phenotype characterization of autoimmune disease.
The NOC presents a symposium at FOCIS on Thursday, June 24, 11:30 am – 4:40 pm that includes sessions on From GWAS to Gene, New Technologies and Initiatives, Translational Genomics and ends with Where Do We Go from Here?, a keynote presentation from George Church, PhD, Harvard University.
The FOCIS Educational Portfolio (FOCISed) prepares to arrive in Boston!
June 23 and 24 Basic Immunology in Medicine pairs with Interventional Immunology to bring a tag-team of courses to the Boston Marriott Copley Place immediately preceding FOCIS 2010. The courses are designed to complement each other and can be taken as a package for a reduced rate.
The courses were created because of fundamental advances in understanding 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 researchers in academia and industry alike. Conceptualized by Abul Abbas, MD, the Basic Immunology course is designed to provide a sophisticated review of selected basic principles, and an update on new advances, especially those most relevant to human disease. Hometown favorite professors, Andrew Lichtman, MD, PhD, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Shiv Pillai, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital join Dr. Abbas as course faculty. You may be treated to one of Dr. Pillai's famous raps after lunch!
The Interventional Immunology course, directed by Scott Plevy, MD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, takes the next step by providing education on new therapies that are currently available or in development and 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 Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Since its foundation in 1956, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) has been dedicated to encouraging and providing training and continuous education, translational research and novel approaches to therapy in the fields of allergology and clinical immunology to achieve optimal care of individuals with allergic/immunologic disorders.
Today, EAACI is the largest non-profit medical association in Europe active in the field of allergic and immunologic diseases such as rhinitis, asthma, eczema, occupational allergy, food and drug allergy and anaphylaxis as well as in basic allergy/immunology research. The EAACI includes 5,500 individual members from 107 countries, as well as 40 National Allergy Societies.
One of EAACI's greatest accomplishments is the EAACI Allergy Schools. The main goal of EAACI Allergy Schools is training and educating motivated young medical specialists and junior researchers in a highly interactive and social networking environment. The EAACI hosts clinically-oriented Allergy Schools focusing on hot topics in Hymenoptera venom allergy, pediatric allergy and asthma, dermatology and more basic schools, e.g. focusing on clinical trials in allergic diseases research and basic immunology research in allergy and clinical immunology. The main mission of all EAACI Schools is to train young investigators in an intensive course of study in an informal setting that encourages active participation. All schools provide CME credits to the participants.
EAACI tries to continuously facilitate the exchange and promotion of scientific information on allergy research among basic scientists, clinicians, regulatory groups and biotech/pharma. The annual EAACI congresses have evolved as highly efficient platforms for scientific communication and education and attract increasing numbers of attendants from all over the world every year. In addition, the EAACI establishes task forces and position papers on current allergy-related topics and cutting-edge scientific developments to provide continuous medical and scientific education.
EAACI also acts as a scientific reference body for other scientific, health and political organisations and collaborates with patients and lay organisations to achieve optimum patient care and ultimately to ease patients' lives.
FOCIS Centers of Excellence Spotlight: Hospital for Special Surgery, Jane Salmon
What is the coolest way that you facilitate interdisciplinary research?
Complex, poorly understood, ineffectively treated multi-system diseases create the need for interdisciplinary collaboration. I study preeclampsia, an illness seen differently by obstetricians, nephrologists, hematologists, rheumatologists and neonatologists, as well as basic scientists interested in placental development, vascular dysfunction and inflammation. Our Preeclampsia Working Group composed of clinicians and basic scientists from academic institutions in the greater New York area and two centers in Canada (by video) meets regularly share our research ideas and discoveries. It has been amazing to see how our group with diverse experience in preeclampsia has come to appreciate the pivotal role of immune mechanisms in this disease.
Why do you dig immunology?
The immune system is our sixth sense. It is the means by which we recognize and interact with our molecular selves and with the outside world. Coming to understand the complex and interrelated mechanisms by which experience molds us and how they go awry is inspiring.
What's your vision for the future of immunology?
We have come to recognize that immunologic processes are the critical pathogenic mechanisms in a wide range of diseases. An understanding of the differences and commonalities in the pathways of organ damage will allow more targeted and less toxic treatments. Recognition of patients with genetic predisposition to immune dysregulation will permit treatment that anticipates disease onset.
Remember to visit the FOCIS Grants/Awards site regularly to view new grant opportunities in the field of clinical immunology and related disciplines. Grants are currently listed from the NIAID, NIDDK, NIAMS, NIH Roadmap and many more.
This highly-competitive program is designed for GI fellows who express an interest in learning more about inflammatory bowel disease (irrespective of their plans to be in private practice or stay in academics). Ideally, the program targets GI fellows who are at centers that do not have IBD-specific curricula or a sufficient volume of patients for training. This program is supported through an unrestricted educational grant.
The one-month observation program is held at leading IBD Centers throughout the country. The program has limited space and is open to GI Fellows interested in a one-month all-expenses-paid rotation in either adult or pediatric inflammatory bowel disease. The expenses include provisions for salary, travel expenses and reimbursement for your home institution. Participant selection criteria include the following: Candidates must be enrolled in an accredited fellowship training program within the U.S. at the time of application and at the time of scheduled rotation. Candidates employed by a participating host institution may apply and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but candidates from other programs will receive priority. This will be determined by the review committee. For a complete list of host institutions please email IBDFellowship@ccfa.org. Candidates should express a specific interest in IBD education for a future career (not necessarily IBD specialty or academics). Candidates should have the full support of their program director for time away from the candidate's home institution for the duration of the program (one month).
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