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FOCIS 2014 Wrap Up

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Thank you to everyone who participated in FOCIS 2014, the first annual meeting held in the Midwest! Over 860 attendees, 450 abstracts and 29 sessions created an exceptional atmosphere for the meeting in translational immunology. Highlights of the conference included 11 symposia conducted by 14 FOCIS Member Societies and cutting edge keynote presentations from Drs. Daniel Kastner, Carl June and Rafi Ahmed.

Along with a decorated listed of speakers, 60 attendees were able to present their findings in thematic and oral abstract sessions while over 350 others participated in poster sessions throughout the week. Special thanks to the FOCIS 2014 Scientific Program Committee for their time and talent in putting together a stellar lineup of topics and speakers.

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Scientific Program Committee

  • Mark Anderson, MD
  • Kari Nadeau, MD
  • Jane Buckner, MD
  • David Rawlings, MD
  • Robert Nussenblatt, MD
  • Frank Nestle, MD
  • Matthias von Herrath, MD
  • Jeff Bluestone, PhD
  • Francesco Marincola, MD
  • Edward Knol, PhD

Lupus Insight Award


Dr. Bruce Richardson, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Michigan was selected as the second recipient of the Lupus Insight Prize on June 25 at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS 2014). With the award funds, Dr. Richardson will identify the genes affected by environmental agents, and determine how environmental agents and diet cause these changes in lymphocytes.

Dr. Richardson discovered that some lupus-causing drugs alter gene expression in normal "helper" lymphocytes, converting them into autoreactive "killer" lymphocytes that attack other cells and cause lupus in mice. He also found the same changes in gene expression in lymphocytes from patients with active lupus, and that many of the environmental agents implicated in lupus, as well as diet, contribute to the changes by altering gene expression.

FOCIS looks forward to hosting the Lupus Insight Prize session again at FOCIS 2015, June 24-27 in San Diego, California. The Lupus Insight Prize is sponsored by the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR), the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), and the Lupus Research Institute (LRI). For more information, please visit the Lupus Insight Prize page.

Thank you FOCIS Member Societies

FOCIS Member Societies

Thank you to the following FOCIS Member Societies who hosted symposiums at FOCIS 2014:

  • FOCIS Allergy COP
  • JDRF
  • American College of Rheumatology
  • Society for Mucosal Immunology
  • Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America
  • The Transplantation Society
  • Canadian Society for Immunology
  • Canadian Human Immunology Network
  • Immune Tolerance Network
  • British Society for Immunology
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists
  • American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics
  • Lupus Foundation of America

Innings for Immunology Recap


The first ever FOCIS Foundation event "Innings for Immunology" was held on June 28th. Guests received a spectacular view of a Chicago Cubs game at legendary Wrigley field from the rooftop suites across the street. Many of the key opinion leaders from FOCIS were on-hand for the festivities and fun was had by all in attendance.

Claim Your CME for FOCIS 2014


In order to receive a CME certificate or certificate of attendance please complete the evaluation for the day(s) you attended FOCIS 2014 by clicking the links below. You will be asked to indicate if you wish to receive a certificate at the end of the survey.

If you have a yet to receive your CME certificate, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Membership and Marketing Coordinator at (414) 359-1670 ext. 1116.

Submit your Abstract for FOCIS 2015!

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FOCIS is the meeting in translational immunology that will give you a competitive edge in your career. FOCIS 2015 will be held June 24-27 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, California. Mark your calendar for the most dynamic presentation of immunology that focuses on molecular pathways and their implications in human disease provides the unique opportunity for innovative thinking and apply ideas from the pathologies of other diseases to uncover novel solutions to challenges in the diseases you study.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Abstract submission, meeting registration, hotel reservations open November 3, 2014
Abstract submission deadline January 28, 2015
Exhibitor registration deadline March 13, 2015
Meeting registration deadline for poster presenters April 1, 2015
Late-breaking abstract submission deadline April 1, 2015
Headquarter hotel registration discount deadline June 1, 2015
FOCIS 2015 June 24-27, 2015

Welcome 2015 Organizing Committee

Welcome 2015 Organizing Committee

Mark Anderson, MD, PhD
Mark Anderson, MD, PhD

Robert Nussenblatt, MD
Robert Nussenblatt, MD

Matthew Albert, MD, PhD
Matthew Albert, MD, PhD

Kevan Herald, MD
Kevan Herald, MD

Frank Nestle, MD
Frank Nestle, MD

Edward Knol, PhD
Edward Knol, PhD

Terri Laufer, MD
Terri Laufer, MD

Elaine Reed, MD
Elaine Reed, MD

Francesco Marincola, MD
Francesco Marincola, MD

Ciriaco Piccirillo, PhD
Ciriaco Piccirillo, PhD

Tim Niewold, MD
Tim Niewold, MD


Sign Up Now to Host Member Society Symposia at FOCIS 2015

All FOCIS Member Societies are encouraged to collaborate and host a symposium on Wednesday, June 24th as part of FOCIS 2015. This is a great way to highlight the latest advances in your field and to partner with other Member Societies to encourage cross-disciplinary education.

Past symposia have included:

  • Minimal Information about T Cell Assay – Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT) and Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium (CIC) of the Cancer Research Institute
  • Autoimmunity, Tolerance and the Gut Microbiota: Exploring New Connections – Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) and Society for Mucosal Immunology (SMI)
  • Cord Blood Derived Cellular Therapies – American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT)
  • Personalized Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases and Transplantation – Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists (AMLI) and American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI)

Complete a Member Society Symposia Proposal form and submit it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. r by Monday, November 3rd. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Stay Involved!

Keep up-to-date with the latest FOCIS 2015 news,  job listings, and grant information! 

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Haven't had a Chance to Read that Stack of Journals on Your Desk?

FOCIS ePub Screenshot

The newest installation of the members-only publication, Translational Immunology Update is now available. 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 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

Titles from the issue include:

  • Immune Cells Annexin A1 Production Drives Keratinocyte Death in Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
    Reviewed by Rachel A. Clark, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Hematopoetic Stem Cell Transplantation in Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
    Reviewed by Sarah Henrickson, MD, PhD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Treating Alopecia Areata with Janis Kinase Inhibitors
    Reviewed by Michelle Hermiston, MD, PhD, University of California San Francisco
  • Peptibodies as a New Approach for Inhibiting Myeloid-Derived Supprressor Cells
    Reviewed by Heather Kinkead and Eric Lutz, PhD, John Hopkins University
  • Read more . . .

FOCIS Membership

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Join Now for 2015 and Get the Remainder of 2014 Free!

September Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology

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FOCIS would like to thank all those who attended the Advanced Course in Basic and Clinical Immunology held in Boston from September 14-17. This was the first offering of this course on the East coast and was met with rave reviews. 70 attendees gathered to learn from the world-renowned faculty and take advantage of the personal interaction with these leaders in immunology. A special thanks goes to the course directors for putting together such an informative course!

Mark your Calendar for the 2015 Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology!

February 8-12, 2015
Hotel Valley Ho
Scottsdale, Arizona

Registration is now open, click here to register!

Immunology Education on the Go

FOCISed Courses

Couldn’t make it to a FOCIS meeting this year? Become a member to access FOCIS educational programming on demand, for free! The following courses are available through the FOCISed Online CME Portal:

  • Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology
  • Basic Immunology in Medicine
  • Interventional Immunology
  • Clinical Trials for Immunologic Disease

Member Society Spotlight: Health and Environmental Sciences Institute

Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI)The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) is a non-profit institution, founded in 1989, whose mission is to engage scientists from academia, government and industry to identify and resolve global health and environmental issues. HESI provides the structure, credibility, and management necessary for successful collaboration amongst scientists from academia, government, research institutes, foundations, and industry to identify and resolve global health and environmental issues. Our scientific programs are conducted by multi-sector committees that organize, support, and execute projects, including collaborative laboratory research programs, workshops, conferences, literature reviews, the development and analysis of databases. These committees have substantial participation from academic and government scientists, and disseminate the products of their activities through peer-reviewed journals, monographs, and other print- and web-based publications.

The Immunotoxicology Technical Committee (ITC) was formed in 1992, and is one of HESI's longest standing committees. The mission of the ITC is to identify and address scientific issues related to the development and application of immunotoxicology to public health and human health risk assessment; promote the understanding and appropriate use of immunotoxicologic data to protect human health; and contribute substantively to the scientific decision making processes relative to the development of guidelines and regulations for immunotoxicologic testing at the local, national, and international levels.

The goal of the ITC's Clinical Immunotoxicology Workgroup is to provide a forum to share information on human immune monitoring that bridges the gap from nonclinical to clinical evaluations.

Member Society Representative: Connie Chen, PhD and Prof. Herman Autrup, Board of Trustee Chair

Short Term Objectives

  • Expand workgroup participation by presenting clinically relevant topics at a bi-monthly discussion seminars
  • Explore synergies and with FOCIS and their member societies in the area of clinical immunology monitoring

Long Term Objectives

  • Provide ITC members with clinical immune monitoring resources in the form of the work group members and website information
  • Engage clinical work group members to identify data or research translation gaps that could be explored as a future ITC supported project

Upcoming Events:

  • October 20-21: Workshop on Immunomodulators and Cancer Risk Assessment (Silver Spring, MD)

Please contact the HESI program manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the HESI website for additional information.

FOCIS Centers of Excellence Spotlight:

FOCIS Congratulates Yale as an Outstanding FOCIS Center of Excellence in their $14.5 million Collaboration with AbbVie

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Yale FCE Director, Jordan Pober, MD, PhD

With the goal of advancing the understanding of the autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, and trying to find new and better treatments, Yale School of Medicine (YSM) has entered into a research partnership with the global pharmaceutical company AbbVie. Formed in 2013 when Abbott Laboratories divided into two companies, this North Chicago, Illinois based company will provide

Catalyzed by Yale's preeminence in immunobiology research, the partnership marks another milestone in the formation of academia-industry partnerships at Yale. "This is a collaboration between an industry leader in the treatment in autoimmune diseases and one of the best academic immunology research programs," says Richard A Flavell, Ph.D., Chair and Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. "Our shared goal is the development of better treatments for immunologic diseases."$14.5 million over a five-year period to fund research led by the Yale faculty.

The AbbVie-Yale Collaboration in Immunobiology will be headed by a five-member joint steering committee. Members from Yale are Flavell; Jordan S. Pober, MD, Bayer of Professor of Translational Medicine, Professor of Dermatology and Pathology, and director of the Department of Immunobiology's Human and Translational Immunology Program; and Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, Professor of Immunobiology and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Members of AbbVie are Lisa M. Olson, PhD, vice president of immunology, and Hamish Allen, PhD,Director of AbbVie's global external research in immunology.

Since the founding of the immunobiology program at Yale in 1988, it has become a world leader in basic immunology research. The key breakthroughs made were the components of the innate immune system called toll-like receptors (TLRs) prompt expression of the genes that provide the adaptive immune system with necessary advance intelligence to do its job. The study of TLRs is now one of the most active and important research in areas of immunobiology.

AbbVie, in turn, is known not only for its pharmaceutical research and drug discovery capabilities, but also for its array of specialized strengths. Thus collaboration will give Yale researchers access to proprietary AbbVie molecules known as dual-variable domain antibodies, which combine two targets, making them valuable experimental and treatment tools.

The $14.5 million in funding is available to School of Medicine faculty with primary or secondary appointments in the Department of Immunobiology. Six of the 14 grants will be four-year "full research" grants of $1 million each, and eight will be two-year pilot project grants of $160,000 each, to supply early-stage research.

The collaboration is part of a longstanding relationship that Flavell built with Abbott Laboratories in the 1990's. Flavell helped guide Abbott's acquisition of a research facility in Worcester, Massachusetts, two hours from Yale. Dr. Olson said, "The proximity allows for close interactions between AbbVie and Yale Scientists, which will greatly advance a deep understanding of the biology around potential new therapeutics."

FOCIS Centers of Excellence Trainee Satellite Symposium Celebrates its 11th Year of Developing Future Leaders

FOCIS Centers of Excellence Trainee Satellite Symposium LogoThe FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCE) is a network of 70 FOCIS- designated medical centers. These centers are some of the best in the world and through the FCE network; they combine their expertise, patient populations and data for research, grants, and other collaborative ventures. A main focus of these centers is training, and each year the centers are given the opportunity to send two trainees to participate in the Trainee Satellite Symposium (TSS), held the first day of the FOCIS Annual Meeting.

This year's TSS was chaired by Timothy Niewold, MD, FCE Chair, Mayo Clinic and Matthew Albert, MD, PhD, FCE Multinational Chair, Institut Pasteur and welcomed 57 trainees from 37 centers. Abstracts were submitted and 10 were selected to give oral presentations at the symposium and the others were presented in a poster tour format following the symposium. The symposium also featured invited lecturers Muzlifah Haniffa, MD, Newcastle University; Jorge Kalil, MD, PhD, University of Sao Paulo and Jordan Pober, MD, PhD, Yale University.

TSS gives trainees the opportunity to hone their presentation skills among colleagues and benefit from the mentorship of FCE Directors who are present through the day. The oral presenters were assigned a mentor that they communicated with preceding the symposium and received a critique of their presentation afterwards. The poster tours were led by FCE Directors and the trainees gave a five minute presentation of their work with and have the opportunity for group discussion and questions. Two posters were selected as Posters of Distinction and were given an award at the Annual Meeting Opening Reception. Congratulations to this year's Poster of Distinction winners Esther Zaumaquero Martinez and Alejandra Urrutia!

Want to participate? Tell your FCE Director to submit your name by January 27, 2015. Receive $500 reimbursement and complimentary meeting registration!

Related Events

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American Uveitis Society 19th Annual Winter Symposium
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Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology
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2015 BMT Tandem Meetings
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Innate Immune Memory
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Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2015
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
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Computational Immunology
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
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Interventional Immunology
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
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Clincial Trials for Immunologic Disease
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
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FOCIS 2015
June 24-27, 2015
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17th International Congress of Mucosal Immunology (ICMI)
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2015 American Rhinologic Society Summer Sinus Symposium
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Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists 28th Annual Meeting
August 14-17, 2015
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Entrepreneurs in Clinical Academica (ECA)
September 21-25, 2015
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41st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogentics
September 28-October 2, 2015
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Basic Immunology In Medicine: Update 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Seaport & World Trade Center
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Interventional Immunology
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Seaport & World Trade Center
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FOCIS 2016
June 22-25, 2016
Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Interested in more Related Meetings? Click on the Events/Meetings tab on the FOCIS page.


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 NIH Roadmap, CADE, CTOT, and more.

Career Opportunities

From academia to government to industry; below are the openings available in the immunology job market! Click on each job posting to find out more details:

Post-doctoral Fellow - Systemic Autoimmunity Pathogenesis in American Indians (JJames)
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Tenure-Track Faculty Position

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine – UCLA

Assistant/Associate Faculty Position
Benaroya Research Institute

Postdoctoral Fellowship Position
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Biomedical/Scientific Writing Post-doctoral Fellow – ACI (JJames)
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF)

Senior Post-doctoral Fellow in Systemic Autoimmunity (JJames)
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF)

Senior Post-doctoral Fellow/Post-doctoral Fellow (JJames) – Anthrax/Influenza Vaccination Response
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF)

Assistant/Associate Staff Scientist – Systemic Autoimmunity – (JJames)
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF)

Assistant/Associate Staff Scientist (JJames) – Anthrax/Influenza Vaccination Response
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF)