FOCIS Board of Directors

FOCIS President
Abul K. Abbas

FOCIS Vice President
Robert Nussenblatt

FOCIS Secretary/Treasurer
Matthias von Herrath

Past President
Jonathan Braun

Jane Buckner
Lynn Gordon
Andrew Lichtman
Holden Maecker
Phil McCoy
Frank Nestle
Scott Plevy
Elaine Reed
William Robinson

Compliance Officer
Jordan Pober

Steering Committee
Richard Blumberg
Robert Colbert
Barbara Detrick
Robert Fairchild
Edward Knol
Vijay Kuchroo
Hakon Leffler
Stefan Meuer
Gerald T. Neprom
Robert B. Nussenblatt
Raegan O'Lone
Elaine Reed
Bart Roep
Lanny J. Rosenwasser
Daniel Rotrosen
Brad Rovin
Megan Sykes
Jo Viney
Matthias von Herrath
Vicky Werth
Takashi Yamamura

Executive Director
Gail Bast

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 PresidentFOCIS_president

Dear Colleagues,

Summer is rapidly approaching and schedules are filling up. I encourage you to make room on your calendar for FOCIS 2012, June 20-23, the premier meeting in translational immunology, in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. Come for the science and stay for the destination!

FOCIS is known for being a leader in immunology education and this year’s meeting delivers on that promise. Many of us belong to multiple specialty societies to stay connected to the current developments in the field. FOCIS complements this and keeps you ahead of the curve by providing a look into the future. By listening, learning and interacting with colleagues from different disciplines, we get a glimpse of the possibilities for the future of research and clinical immunology. FOCIS also provides necessary education on the role of the immune system in different diseases and a global view on how to select the most effective therapies.

The FOCIS 2012 Organizing Committee led by Steve Ziegler, PhD at the Benaroya Research Institute, has put together an exciting program that includes the most novel basic research and the implications for human application as well as the results of immune-based treatments in clinical settings. Visit the FOCIS 2012 Preliminary Program to see the line-up of topics and speakers and to register now!

FOCIS 2012 also offers three courses from the FOCIS educational portfolio (FOCISed). The Clinical Trials in Immunologic Disease course has been moved to Saturday, June 23 to allow for clinicians to attend without taking time out of the work week. Held June 19, the longest-standing FOCIS course, Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2012, delivers information on the major recent advances in basic immunology that are most relevant to human disease and immunologic therapies. Interventional Immunology discusses the newest therapies and novel applications across multiple diseases. Discounted rates are available for course and annual meeting packages. More information on each course is available below.

There is much to learn, see and do in Vancouver before, during and after FOCIS 2012. I hope to see you there!

Kind regards,
Abul K. Abbas, MD
FOCIS President

Register by May 31!
FOCIS 2012 focuses on accelerating the advancement of immunology through an intensive schedule of presentations on the latest research, educational programming and networking opportunities. Plan now to join your colleagues in the collaborative forum that is FOCIS 2012. View the Program at a Glance.

Important Dates & Deadlines:
Headquarter hotel registration discount deadline Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Meeting registration deadline Thursday, May 31, 2012
FOCIS 2012 Wednesday, June 20 through Saturday, June 23, 2012

Member Society Symposia (open to all FOCIS 2012 registrants)
A record number of FOCIS Member Societies will be hosting symposia during FOCIS 2012. FOCIS gratefully acknowledges these partners in helping to foster the FOCIS mission of improving human health through immunology. This year's meeting is a truly collaborative forum for the immunologic community.

Member Society Symposia on Wednesday, June 20 hosted by:


Click here to view the symposium agendas.



Attend FOCIS 2012 and Stay & Play in Vancouver
Vancouver is an ideal location for a memorable family vacation or a short getaway. Bring your family and friends with you to FOCIS 2012 and enjoy all the area has to offer before and/or after the meeting. Whatever you choose to do in Vancouver, you can’t go wrong! Click here for more information.




Follow the FOCIS Facebook page to stay up to date on popular Vancouver happenings and giveaways.


IDS_2012 Affiliated Meeting: 12th International Congress of the Immunology of Diabetes Society (IDS)
Visit Victoria before FOCIS 2012 and attend the 12th International Congress of the Immunology of Diabetes Society (IDS), June 15-19, 2012. As a fun way to facilitate attendance at both meetings. IDS has organized a boat cruise from Victoria Harbour to Vancouver Harbour on the afternoon of June 19th. Click here for additional information on the IDS meeting.

Go with the Flow @ FOCIS 2012: Principles of Flow Cytometry for Immune Monitoring
Open to all FOCIS 2012 attendees, this two-session how-to workshop is designed to teach current best practices for obtaining high-quality, reproducible flow cytometry data for immune phenotyping. The course focuses on all aspects from experimental design to sample collection and processing, data analysis and reporting. It is designed for anyone using flow cytometry for immune phenotyping, particularly in longitudinal or multi-site studies where standardization is essential.

Speakers Include: John Ferbas, PhD, Amgen; Holden Maecker, PhD, Stanford University; Maria Jaimes, MD, BD Biosciences and J. Philip McCoy, PhD, National Institutes of Health.

Part I Thursday, June 21 ▪ 3:15-5:15 pm
Part II Friday, June 22 ▪ 3:15-5:15 pm

Registration for Principles of Flow Cytometry for Immune Monitoring is included in your FOCIS 2012 registration fee.


Join_focisFOCIS Membership: Have You Joined Yet?
Since the beginning of the year the newly-introduced FOCIS membership has attracted more than 750 professionals working in the field of clinical immunology. Join your colleagues today by becoming a FOCIS member and take advantage of the lowest FOCIS 2012 registration rates available, along with several exclusive member benefits, including:

  • Clinical Immunology - the official journal of FOCIS
  • Translational Immunology Update - FOCIS ePublication aggregating the latest in clinical immunology
  • FOCIS online educational courses
  • Online membership directory
  • Free job postings on the FOCIS website
  • Waived abstract submission fees
  • Reduced course registration rates
  • Volunteer leadership opportunities

Basic Immunology Course: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

focisBolster your knowledge of the immune system with Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2012. This course continues to earn accolades from attendees with its focus on reviewing selected topics in basic immunology, with an emphasis on recent advances and issues that are relevant to the pathogenesis and treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.


  • Target Audience: Practicing clinicians, trainees, and individuals in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies who are involved in the development of therapies for immunological diseases.
  • 7 CME credits available.

agenda register_now


Interventional Immunology Course: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

focisGive yourself an immunology edge with Interventional Immunology, which familiarizes practicing physicians with the scientific basis of novel immune therapies, their clinical applications possible side-effects and limitations.



  • Target Audience: Practicing physicians, researchers and industry professionals working in the field of clinical immunology
  • 6 CME credits available

agenda register_nowfocis

Clinical Trials Course: Saturday, June 23, 2012

focisPrepare yourself to take the next step in your career by becoming familiar with clinical trial design and implementation. Clinical Trials for Immunologic Disease reviews the key elements of clinical trials, including types of trials, designing feasible trials, statistical issues, and surrogate markers that might be used. It will discuss strategies for entering into the funding stream, and participants will engage in a practicum to put their new knowledge into practice.


  • Target Audience: Junior attending physicians, company project managers and PhD scientists who wish to enter into translational research.
  • 7 CME credits available.

agenda register_now


2012 Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology

focisThe 2012 Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology, held February 26-March 1 in Scottsdale, Arizona was another resounding success, attracting its largest and most globally diverse audience in its 7 year history. Don't just take our word for it – read a few testimonials from attendees below, and mark your calendar for the 2013 course next March.






Immunology on Demand: FOCISed Online

In response to your requests, FOCIS is pleased to introduce the FOCISed Online CME portal. Now you can get your favorite FOCIS programs on demand featuring the Interventional Immunology course and the Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology. Content is free for FOCIS members and only a modest fee for non-members. Check it out today!


Translational Immunology Update goes Members Only
Since September 2012, FOCIS has provided the Translational Immunology Update to the immunology community. As of March 2012 this publication now available as a FOCIS member benefit. The titles from each publication are available for viewing on the FOCIS homepage, to view the full text, click on any article and enter your FOCIS member information. Not a FOCIS member yet? Join more than 750 of your colleagues today! In addition to Translational Immunology Update, members receive complimentary access to Clinical Immunology, the official FOCIS journal; reduced meeting and course fees; complimentary abstract submission; free access to FOCIS’ online education portal and more.

Get Involved – Call for Clinical Trials: Each issue of Translational Immunology Update includes an update on important positive or negative Phase 1 or Phase 2 clinical trials reported within the previous 6 months in the context of immune therapy. An example of the format is listed below. Trials are solicited on the first of March, June, September and December. Please submit your trials on the FOCIS Translational Immunology Update wiki.

Study design: Phase 1or Phase 2
Safety and/or efficacy outcome of interest to FOCIS community
Importance to FOCIS community?
Submitted by
Pescovitz, et al, NEJM Nov 26, 361;22: 2143-2152, 2009 [PMID: 19940299].
Type 1 diabetes

Placebo controlled, double masked

Phase 2

Rituximab, anti-CD20

Preservation of beta cell function

No major safety concerns

Anti B cell therapy appears similarly efficacious to anti-T cell therapy in early onset type 1 diabetes

Carla Greenbaum MD (Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, WA)

Member Society Spotlight: The European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID)ESID

The European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID) is a non-profit organization founded in Rome in 1983 as an informal group interested in sharing and developing cooperative studies in the field of primary immunodeficiencies (PID). In 1994, the first constitution of ESID was approved at the biennal meeting in Sitges. The main objectives of our Society are to:

  • Increase awareness of primary immunodeficiencies in all European countries and worldwide.
  • Facilitate the exchange of ideas and information among doctors, nurses, biomedical investigators, patients and their families.
  • Improve diagnosis and therapy for patients with PID in countries with less accessible healthcare facilities.
  • Train and educate young pediatricians and junior researchers by means of intensive scientific courses that facilitate the exchange of scientific information.

With these aims in mind, ESID formed a Scientific Board that reflects the various fields of scientific interest within the Society. The current Board members, a President, Amos Etzioni (Haifa, Israel), a Treasurer (Eleonora Gambineri, Florence, Italy), a Secretary (Anna Villa, Milan, Italy) and seven Chairpersons of Working Parties (Clinical, Genetic, Registries, Transplantation & Gene Therapy, Education, Junior, and Development of PID Care) well reflect the different scientific and clinical areas present within the society.

One of the greatest successes was the Biennal ESID Meeting, which was held in 2011 in Istanbul organized by Prof. Kutukcule. Besides this event, the ESID organizes various initiatives to foster the knowledge of PID.

The ESID Summer School represents an excellent opportunity to update PID knowledge with teachers who are at the forefront of this field and is open to anyone who wants to learn how to diagnose and treat immunodeficiencies. In parallel, other scientific events are organized in different European countries in conjunction with the ESID. A few examples are: the ESID Junior Symposium organized in Finland (June 16-17, 2011); or the J Project activity directed by Prof. Laszlo Marodi in Eastern Europe. A number of travel grants are available to attend these workshops. Short or long term fellowships are offered to physicians or scientists interested in learning diagnostic/therapeutic procedures or lab techniques in the field of PID.

Anyone interested in ESID can visit the website: ESID is always interested in receiving suggestions and opinions in order to spread the knowledge of PID throughout the world.

Next ESID main event:
15th Biennal ESID meeting in Florence, Italy 2012.

Member Spotlight: C. Garrison Fathman, MD, Stanford University
focisFOCIS co-founder, Dr. C. Garrison Fathman was the invited lecturer for the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) at the NIH, on March 14. Watch the video online. Videos are CME accredited.

FOCIS Centers of Excellence Spotlight: Chicago FOCIS Centers, Lauren Pachman and Timothy Niewold


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

Niewold: Our graduate committees are organized around broad areas of study such as immunology, and the committees bridge a number of different traditional specialties and disease areas. This results in a great cross-talk between investigators working in different areas of immunology, similar to that achieved by FOCIS. We also work across institutions in Chicago - for example Dr. Pachman and I have been actively working together in studying human disease, bridging a traditional cross-town rivalry.

FOCIS: Why do you dig Immunology?

Niewold: Immunology is really central to human health and disease. This primal "self vs. non-self" struggle is relevant in almost all pathological states, and it's really fascinating to apply immunology across different disease states.

FOCIS: What is your vision for the future of Immunology?

Niewold: I think we're going to revolutionize human health through immunology. The therapeutic potential is immense, and we're only beginning to harness the capability of the immune system. The critical "missing link" in my view is to obtain a more detailed understanding of the human immune system, both in it's similarities between people as well as the ways in which responses differ between people. Much of this will be uniquely human, and our ability to study human immunology continues to expand. This is the new frontier, and it's an exciting place to be.

PachmanFOCIS: What is the coolest way that you facilitate interdisciplinary research?

Pachman: There are several approaches that seem to work. One is to have a “burning” problem that you would really like to understand, such as the status of hypomethylation in people with a particular autoimmune disease. Since we have a wealth of very well defined clinical material, we search for a collaborator with a complementary skill set who also thinks that finding the answer to this question would be very instructive. Everybody wins! The second approach is to bring a diverse group of investigators together, as we do in our FOCIS Chicago City-Wide workshops (there are 232 people on the email list). At these gatherings, we find out “what’s happening” in another academic setting. Collaborations are often cultivated under those conditions.

FOCIS: Why do you dig Immunology?

Pachman: At the start of my career, I was fascinated by children who became quite ill because they were “experiments of nature”; we began to identify “holes” in their immune system. As we learned, some children were very unique. The investigation of patterns of vulnerability, both in the children with immunodeficiency, as well as in children with aberrant immune responses occurring in autoimmunity, is very, very absorbing.

FOCIS: What is your vision for the future of Immunology?

Pachman: If a central premise is that immunology is the “trunk of the tree of life”, then one potential hope for the future is that the identification of the complex interactions between genetics and immunobiology may lead to the development of a set of “outcome predictive elements”. As Tim Niewold noted, this elusive goal is one basis of our fruitful and continuing cross-town collaboration.

Spotlight on the FCE Committeefocis
FOCIS welcomes three new members to the FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCE) Committee. Thomas Giese, University of Heidelberg; Davide Bedognetti, NIH Clinical Center and Kari Nadeau, Stanford University will join current committee members, Bob Nussenblatt, FCE Chair, NIH; Frank Nestle, FCE Multinational Chair, King’s College and C. Garrison Fathman, Stanford University. The FCE Committee will meet quarterly to discuss FCE activities including an enhanced FCE website, trainee education and development and collaborative projects.

Industry Spotlight genentech amgen
FOCIS welcomes Amgen and Genentech Research & Early Development to our new Corporate Council! Genentech’s representatives on the council will be Tim Behrens, Senior Director, Human Genetics and Flavius Martin, Associate Director, Immune Cell Function. Amgen's regpresentatives will be Brian Kotzin, Vice President - Global Development Head, Inflammation TA and Ajay Nirula, Executive Director, Inflammation TA.

The FOCIS Corporate Council provides a mutually valuable forum for collaboration between FOCIS and industry leaders. Invitations to serve on the Corporate Council are given to companies that have invested significant knowledge and resources in FOCIS. For more information on joining this elite group, please contact Bill Elliott at


Get Connected and Stay Connected with FOCIS
Want to be looped in on the most current FOCIS news? Connect with us through
Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube.

Grants Available
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.

Your Immunology Career Resource "What's Available Now"
From academia to government to industry; see what's available in the immunology job market.

Zane Cohen Center, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship – Genomics and Microbiome Studies in Gastroenterology

Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health
Health Scientist Administrator

Assistant or Associate Member
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Clinical Assistant Member
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Kwok Lab

Assay Manager for Clinical Trials
The Immune Tolerance Network

Clinical Research Investigator
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Diabetes Clinical Research Program

Associate Scientist
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Job posting rates:
▪ Free for FOCIS Members
▪ $75 per posting – academic/non-profit/government
▪ $125 per posting – industry

Purchase a Job Posting

Looking for a Meeting?
Relevant meetings and educational programs from our Member Societies and partners in immunology.

4th Annual International Certificate Program
May 6-12, 2012

Siracusa, Italy

International Congress Prion 2012
May 9-12, 2012

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Keystone Symposia: Drug Resistance and Persistence in Tuberculosis
May 13-18, 2012

Kampala, Uganda

Keystone Symposia: The Role of Inflammation during Carcinogenesis
May 20-25, 2012

Dublin, Ireland

5th International Singapore Symposium of Immunology
June 7-8, 2012

University Town, Singapore

University of Rochester, Center for Biodefense Immune Modeling: Summer School in Computational Immunology
June 10-14, 2012

Rochester, New York

University of Rochester, Center for Biodefense Immune Modeling: Symposium on Modeling Immune Responses from Complex Data
June 14-15, 2012

Rochester, New York

12th International Congress of the Immunology of Diabetes Society (IDS)
June 15-19, 2012

Victoria, Canada

EAACI Annual Meeting
June 16-20, 2012

Geneva, Switzerland

ICS Third Mid-year Meeting: IL-17 & Related Cytokines: Basic Biologic & Clinical Applications
June 18-21, 2012

Dublin, Ireland

Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2012
June 19, 2012

Vancouver, Canada

FOCIS 2012
June 20-23, 2012

Vancouver, Canada

Interventional Immunology
June 20, 2012

Vancouver, Canada

Clinical Trials for Immunologic Disease
June 23, 2012

Vancouver, Canada

15th International Congress of Immunology
August 22-27, 2013

Milan, Italy

Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2012
October 24-28, 2012

Bethesda, Maryland

EAACI Annual Meeting
June 22-26, 2013

Milan, Italy


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

Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
American College of Rheumatology • American Rhinological Society • 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
British Society for Immunology • 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 • Georgian Association of Allegology and Clinical Immunology
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
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 Immunotheraphy of Cancer
Society for Investigative Dermatology • Society for Mucosal Immunology • The Transplantation Society
Ukrainian Society of Immunology and Allergy • Uveitis Association of Mexico • World Allergy Organization