Thematic Month on the EAACI Immunology Section
The aims of the Immunology Section are:
• to promote understanding of the etiology of allergic diseases and of mechanisms of basic and clinical immunology
• to foster the communication between basic immunology and clinical allergy
• to encourage training in basic immunology for young investigators /physician-scientists
• to disseminate the latest information regarding progress in immunological research
Currently the Immunology Section board includes:
Chairman: Prof Thilo Jakob, MD, PhD (Germany)
Secretary: Barbara Bohle, PhD (Austria)
Board members: Prof. Eckard Hamelmann, MD, PhD (Germany)
Dr. Mubeccel Akdis, MD, PhD (Switzerland)
Prof. Marianne van Hage, MD, PhD (Sweden)
Edward Knol, PhD (Netherlands)
JMA Representative: Marcin Kurowski MD,PhD (Poland)
1. The EAACI-GA²LEN Immunology Winter School: an idea that turned into a tradition
During the last 8 years the Immunology Section of the EAACI has been organizing a winter school for young doctoral and postdoctoral scientists, who are active in basic allergy and clinical immunology research. The goal of the winter schools is to increase the impact of basic immunology research on the fields of allergy and clinical immunology. In addition the meetings try to attract basic doctoral and post doctoral scientists to our Academy, raise the awareness about the wide range of educational and scientific programs of our Academy, get them involved in one of our many activities and this way build up future candidates for academic allergology and clinical immunology.
The application for participation is open for all doctoral and postdoctoral scientists who are active in basic allergy and clinical Immunology research. The number of participants is restricted to 70 to keep the meeting small and effective. The applicants are selected on a competitive basis based on the quality of their submitted abstract. Those that are selected receive a grant that covers the meeting cost and accommodation. All participants have to present their own data either in form of a 12 minute talk with a lot of time for discussion (12 +8) or as a poster which will be discussed individually during a poster walk. With a ratio of one to two of talks to posters the chances for young investigators to give an oral presentation are very high.
The purpose of our Winter School is to create an engaging scientific environment in which allergy and asthma related immunological concepts can be covered with ample time for discussions and young scientist will have the opportunity to directly interact with known capacities in the field. For this we invite 6 outstanding scientist for each meeting to give keynote lectures on current topics in immunology with relevance for allergy and clinical immunology. In addition we ask the keynote speakers to stay during the entire meeting for close communication with the participants - let it be on the ski slopes, during lunch or dinner or in the evenings at the wine and cheese poster session.
The list of previous keynote speakers of the EAACI Winter Schools includes world known scientist such as: Ulrich von Andrian, Kim Bottomly, Richard Flavell, Raif Geha, Erwin Gelfand, Ron Germain, David Gray, Patrik Holt, Juha Kere, Jean-Pierre Kinet, Peter Krammer, Antonio Lanzavecchia, Markus Manz, Philippa Marrack, Fritz Melchers, Lorenzo Moretta, Antonius Rolink, Robert Seder, Dale Umetsu, Hermann Wagner, Fred Finkelman, Tsuneyasu Kaisho, Barry Kay, Kenneth Murphy, Marsha Wills-Karp, Federica Sallusto, Georg Stingl, Jens Michael Schröder, Mark Larché, Stephen Galli, Thomas Platts-Mills, and Gennaro De Libero.
Due to the generous support from the EAACI ExCom and GA²LEN for this kind of activities we now have planned the 7th EAACI-GA²LEN Winter School “Basic Immunology Research in Allergy and Asthma” that will take place in Davos between the 5th and the 8th of February, 2009. The meeting is organized together with the EAACI Asthma Section, and the Swiss Institute for Allergy and Asthma Research, with generous support from GA²LEN. The meeting will include 5 main symposia on innate immunity, adaptive immunity and regulation in allergic inflammation. Each symposium will be opened by a keynote lecture followed by presentations of participants as selected from their abstracts. The keynote speakers will include: Arne Akbar, London, United Kingdom, Stephen Holgate, Southampton, United Kingdom, Yong-Jun Liu, Houston, USA, Andreas Radbruch, Berlin, Germany, Andrew Saxon, Los Angeles, USA, Donata Vercelli, Tucson, Arizona, USA.
Given the exciting list of keynote speakers we are very confident that also the 7th EAACI-GA²LEN Winter School will be a success.
We, as a section feel very proud and honored that the Excecutive Committee of the EAACI and of GA²LEN has given us the support for the EAACI-GA²LEN Immunology Winter Schools over so many years. This enabled us to create a format and tradition in which excellence in science can be shared in a friendly and protected environment, which fosters creativity and productivity and has in many case already lead to personal friendships and scientific collaborations across Europe. It all started out as an idea by the former chairmen of the Immunology Section Cezmi Akdis and Mike Kemeny and has now turned into a tradition. The current members of the Immunology Section Board strongly hope that this tradition will continue in the EAACI to promote active young scientists in basic allergy and clinical immunology research.