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FOCIS 2015 Recap

Thank you to everyone who participated in FOCIS 2015 in San Diego!

focis2015Over 800 attendees, 350 abstracts and 20 scientific sessions created an exceptional atmosphere for THE meeting translational immunology.

A special thanks goes out to the FOCIS 2015 Scientific Program Committee for their time and talent in putting together an innovative lineup of topics and speakers.

FOCIS 2015 Recap


Important Links

Important Links

Lupus Insight Award

Lupus Award

Dr. George C. Tsokos, Chief of the Rheumatology Division at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, received the 2015 Lupus Insight Prize at FOCIS 2015 for a project with great promise in improving treatment for lupus nephritis. The award was presented at FOCIS 2015, the 15th Annual Meeting of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies.


The Lupus Insight Prize is a collaborative initiative among the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR), the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) and the Lupus Research Institute (LRI). The $200,000 Prize recognizes a major, novel insight and/or discovery that has the promise of changing thinking about lupus as well as a high likelihood of generating further advances in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Innovative Project Aims to Improve Lupus Nephritis Treatment

Dr. Tsokos will use the award funds to study the molecular link between the immune system and the kidney damage seen frequently in patients with lupus nephritis, a dangerous complication of lupus. His research also aims to develop a targeted delivery of drugs directly to kidney cells that block the action of a single destructive enzyme.

“I am honored to receive this award from the leading organizations in lupus,” commented Dr. Tsokos. “I have dedicated my career to defining the abnormalities in the immune cells of patients with lupus to advance the development of tools for diagnosis and monitoring as well as safer and more effective therapies. The Lupus Insight Prize will allow my team to further our exciting current work that has potential to significantly improve treatment of lupus nephritis, serious damage to the kidneys.”

“The collegial effort among the organizations involved in the Lupus Insight Prize demonstrates the focus of all involved in accelerating progress towards better treatments and ultimately, to finding a cure for lupus,” said Kenneth M. Farber, President of the Alliance for Lupus Research. “By working with these organizations and with leaders in the field of lupus research towards a common goal, we have the potential to more quickly improve the lives of those estimated 1.5 million Americans living with lupus.”

“We are extremely proud that Dr. Tsokos was selected to win this prestigious award and congratulate him on his long and illustrious career,” adds Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America. “Dr. Tsokos’ longstanding commitment to exploring the underlying causes of lupus and identifying new ways to diagnose and treat the disease has resulted in important and game-changing discoveries, including the identification of treatments that are specific for lupus with fewer debilitating side effects. These treatments are in various stages of clinical development.”

Margaret G. Dowd, President and CEO of the Lupus Research Institute concluded, “Dr. Tsokos’ outstanding body of work exemplifies what the three national lupus organizations came together to advance with the Lupus Insight Prize – the most novel science that builds on groundbreaking contributions to innovative treatment and drives toward a cure. This study is particularly meaningful for patients because of its potential to deliver safer and more effective drugs to treat lupus nephritis, one of the most common and dangerous complications of the disease.”

For more information visit LupusInsightPrize.org.

FOCIS Member Societies

Member Societies

Thank you to the following FOCIS Member Societies and Communities of Practice who hosted symposia at FOCIS 2015:

  • American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT)
  • Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS)
  • American Rhinologic Society (ARS)
  • The Transplantation Society (TTS)
  • American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI)
  • Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists (AMLI)
  • American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
  • International Cytokine and Interferon Society (ICIS)
  • FOCIS Immunology Community of Practice
  • FOCIS Cancer Community of Practice


Member Societies: There is still time to be seen at FOCIS 2016!

FOCIS Member Societies

All FOCIS Member Societies are encouraged to collaborate and host a symposium on Wednesday, June 22nd to kick off FOCIS 2016.

This is a great economical way to highlight your specialty's latest advances in immunology and to partner with other Member Societies to encourage cross-disciplinary education.

Contact Membership and Marketing Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for an application or questions.

FOCIS 2016: Next Week Registration, Abstract Submission, and Hotel Reservations Open!

email focis 2016 logoAttend the most innovative presentation of immunology and see the latest research advances in immune-mediated diseases.

Take a look at the innovative lineup of topics and presenters; share your findings in front of leading clinicians and researchers in immunology, while saving money as a FOCIS member.

Important Dates and Deadlines

  • Abstract submission, meeting registration, hotel reservations open: November 4, 2015
  • Abstract submission deadline: January 27, 2016

About FOCIS 2016

FOCIS is the meeting in translational immunology that will give you a competitive edge in your career.

Stay ahead of the curve with leading clinicians and researchers delivering the latest breakthroughs across immune-mediated diseases.

Focusing 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.

Thank you to the 2016 Scientific Program Committee

The leaders below have been chosen to plan FOCIS 2016 and are already hard at work building an exciting program and inviting speakers!


Kevan Herold, MD
Kevan Herold, MD, Yale University

William Robinson, MD
William Robinson, MD, Stanford University

Frank Nestle, MD
Frank Nestle, MD, King's College London

Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD
Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, University of California, San Francisco

Terri Laufer, MD
Terri Laufer, MD, University of Pennsylvania

Ciriaco Piccirillo, PhD
Ciriaco Piccirillo, PhD, McGill University

Rafi Ahmed, PhD
Rafi Ahmed, PhD, Emory University

Amit Bar-Or, MD
Amit Bar-Or, MD, McGill University

Virginia Pascaul, MD
Virginia Pascaul, MD, Baylor Institute for Immunology Research

David Hafler, MD
David Hafler, MD, Yale University

Larry Turka, MD
Larry Turka, MD, Harvard Medical School


We hope to see you at FOCIS 2016, held June 22-25 in Boston, Massachusetts!

Stay Connected!

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

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Member Reception

The FOCIS Member Reception received rave reviews at FOCIS 2015. With a prime outdoor location, great food and live music, it was the place to be!

Make sure to join FOCIS to receive more great benefits like this!

Member Reception

Haven't Read that Stack of Journals on Your Desk?

October epub

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!

Titles from the issue include:

  • Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy is Safe and Effective in HLA-associated Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Reviewed by Rachael A. Clark, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Genetic Variants Driving Increased NFκB Signaling are Present in a Subset of Multiple Sclerosis Patients
    Reviewed by Rachael A. Clark, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Susceptibility to Herpes Simplex Encephalitis in the Setting of IRF3 Deficiency
    Reviewed by Sarah Henrickson, MD, PhD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia<
  • T Cell Differentiation Skewing and Asthma
    Reviewed by Sarah Henrickson, MD, PhD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Read more . . .

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

Attend the Immunology Retreat this February

Registration is now open for the Advanced Course in Basic & Clinical Immunology.2016 Adv Course Adsmall

Escape to the relaxing atmosphere of Scottsdale, Arizona for the chance to engage with the world-renowned faculty and get a clinical spin on major topics in cellular and molecular immunology.

The all-inclusive registration package (hotel and meals included) make this a can't miss opportunity.

Learn more and register today!



Did you know that FOCISed courses are available online?


FOCISed Courses Online


Advance your knowledge and career by attending one or more FOCISed online courses featuring world-renowned faculty members:

FOCIS members can access the courses for free and secure CME credits for as little as $50. Non-Members can view the courses and earn CME credits starting at $100.

Take advantage of these great opportunities to advance your knowledge and career! Sign up to take a FOCISed online course today.

To learn more about FOCISed courses, please visit the FOCIS website.

Member Society Spotlight: British Society for Immunology

BSI Logo

The British Society for Immunology has a proud history, but an even more exciting future. It was founded in 1956 by a visionary group of like-minded scientists who foresaw the importance of the discipline at a time when few could have imagined how it would develop. We now have 6,000 members spread across the world; we publish two journals, support our members in transforming the field and their careers, organize more than 60 scientific meetings every year and run a sensationally successful annual Congress that's both the social and scientific highlight of every autumn.

When the BSI was founded few could have foreseen the scale and importance of the breakthroughs we are now making in both basic and clinical research. Many early insights from fundamental immunological research are now being tested in the clinic, opening new worlds of therapy for a legion of hitherto untreatable diseases. Indeed, many of the new therapies now being licensed are not conventional 'small molecule' drugs but biotherapeutics based on immunological research. We are truly living in exciting times, but face challenges over research funding and changes in the university sector. We need a strong and unified voice in demonstrating the contributions that our discipline makes and in getting our voice heard by decision-makers and funders.

The dynamism and energy which lies at the heart of the profession is something that I want to harness for our membership. The BSI is changing to meet the needs of immunologists and other stakeholders both in the UK and abroad: ours is a global effort and a global community. We are a broad church, representing those working in human and animal health, with patients with immune and allergic disorders but basing all that we do on cutting-edge laboratory research. Our organization leads and reflects our members and is diversifying as it moves into new terrains. Our portfolio of events, meetings and conferences reflects this change.

If you are not already a member, please do join us. Whatever the stage of your career or your specialist interest, you are welcome at the BSI. Further details can be found at www.immunology.org, but for now I'd like to leave you with is this thought: We can and will work with you, and you in turn can make a real contribution to a field that is transforming lives across the globe.

FOCIS Centers of Excellence: Milieu Intérieur Project – Institut Pasteur

Albert Photo
Institut Pasteur FCE Director, Matthew Albert, MD, PhD

FOCIS Center of Excellence (FCE) Director Matthew Albert, MD, PhD, is coordinating a far-reaching project at the Institut Pasteur in Paris aimed at defining what it means to be "in good health" from a biological standpoint.

The project, known as "Milieu Intérieur" ("Environment Within"), strives to define and increase understanding of what determines a "healthy" individual from the perspective of their immune system by integrating for the first time the relationship between genetics, immunity, and environment.

Immune responses are extremely complex and vary from one person to another. However, medical practices and public health policies are mostly based on a single model of patient care and drug development. The Milieu Intérieur project, which is part of France's Laboratory of Excellence research consortium, was created specifically to address this paradox.

This project features a cohort of 500 French men and 500 French women between 20 and 69 years of age who are in good health. The project samples include blood, nasal and stool samples as well as skin biopsies. Scientists have also collected medical, nutritional and sociodemographic data, as well as information about individuals' lifestyles.

The statistical approach adopted by the scientists enabled them to validate known correlations between certain biological profiles and the age and sex of donors. It confirmed in particular that LDL cholesterol levels increase with age and that creatinine – which measures renal function – is higher in men than in women.

With the help of biological and epidemiological data, the scientists were also able to observe the impact of environmental factors, in particular smoking on the immune system. The study established that smoking may lead to an increase in white cells circulating in the blood stream, which causes the reduction of certain antibodies (IgG) and more.

In the long term, the Milieu Intérieur project aims to provide a new reference framework and data control system for patient studies. The study will help provide a better understanding of the variability of immune responses between individuals which can help with moving towards more personalized medicine.

The Milieu Intériur studies were published in the January issue of Clinical Immunology. The study includes thirty laboratories from top French research centers including the FCEs at Institut Curie and Paris-Diderot University.

The FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCE) are an elite group of institutions who are the foundation of the interdisciplinary translational immunology community. This community offers an effective training environment for translational researchers and clinicians by promoting interdisciplinary innovation in research and clinical practices, and promoting new links for researchers and clinicians.

To learn more about the Milieu Intériur Project, visit http://www.milieuinterieur.fr/en.

NIH LogoGrants Available

Remember to visit the FOCIS Grants/Awards site regularly to view new grant opportunities in the field of clinical immunology and related disciplines.

Your Immunology Career Resource

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:

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason 

Faculty Position in Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Cancer
Simon Fraser University

Director, Division of Immunopathology

Postdoctoral position in immune tolerance and autoimmunity
Columbia Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI)

2016-2017 Immunogenetics Fellowship Program
University of California, Los Angeles

Postdoctoral Position
US National Eye Institute (NEI) and NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)

Interested in Posting a Job?

Visit the bottom of the job board page for purchase and submission instructions.

The Immunology and Biologics Educational Collaborative (IBEC)

The Immunology and Biologics Educational Collaborative

The Immunology and Biologics Educational Collaborative (IBEC) represents a coalition of organizations dedicated to advancing education and best practices related to the use of biologics in the care for patients with immune-mediated inflammatory disorders. IBEC is directed under the leadership of Leonard Calabrese, DO, Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic with a focus on building and reinforcing foundational knowledge and application of key concepts in immunology as they relate to clinical care. Earn CME on Immunology and Biologics, Osteoarthritis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis through videos, slides/audio lectures and tutorials. Visit the IBEC website to learn more.

The recent advent of biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) has transformed the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment landscape from symptom management to disease modification. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by a dysregulation of inflammatory processes leading to progressive joint destruction, systemic inflammation, and extra-articular manifestations. With recent approvals of new, first-in-class, biologic DMARDs with novel mechanisms of action, disability is no longer an inevitable outcome for patients with RA. These agents modify disease progression by targeting key mediators of inflammation. By understanding the underlying immunologic mechanisms driving RA progression, clinicians involved in the management of patients with RA will be better equipped to evaluate the clinical and pharmacologic safety, as well as efficacy profiles of current and emerging DMARDs. In this forum, leading rheumatologists will integrate discussions of basic immunologic principles with current and emerging RA treatments. Mechanisms of autoimmunity and inflammation will be juxtaposed against the emerging role of B-cell and T-cell targeting therapies in addition to the use of small molecules in novel treatment approaches.