The seasons are changing again, regardless of which part of the continent, or globe, you happen to be in. The last few months have been a time of hectic activity for the CIS, and I would like to update you on various exciting events in the life of our Society.
First of all, I would like to recognize Dr. Max Cooper as he was recently awarded the Japan Prize for his outstanding contributions to the field of immunology. CIS congratulates Dr. Cooper on being honored for his lifetime of dedication and contributions to our field.
All of you are well aware by now that CIS has created a new Foundation (The CIS Foundation) to raise funds to support our fellows and junior faculty with a variety of educational grants and awards, aimed at promoting research, and nurturing and supporting the next generation of clinical immunologists. We request all our members to not only contribute to the Foundation (donations within the US are tax-deductible), but to spread the word in the community that this Foundation is a worthy cause for contribution.
To launch the new Foundation, and to raise funds and awareness, CIS is holding our first fundraiser, “Dine with the Doctors” in Toronto during the Annual Meeting. We sincerely thank our senior colleagues – Drs. Thomas Fleisher, Charlotte Cunningham-Rundles, Kate Sullivan, Isabelle Meyts, and Stuart Tangye who have kindly offered of their time to participate in this event. This dinner auction offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to have a time of uninterrupted and personal interaction with luminaries in the field. So, please be generous and participate in the auction, and bid for a spot. You can also bid for a spot and donate it to a trainee or an international colleague. Please keep in mind that the proceeds from the fund-raiser will go in its entirety to the CIS Foundation. Be generous, and help us reach our lofty but not impossible goal of $1 million. The auction is still open! You can find more information on the CIS Website!
Annual Meeting 2018
The Annual Meeting is about a month away, and the CIS Staff, Executive Council and Program Committee are delighted and excited to welcome all of you to the lovely cosmopolitan city of Toronto in Canada. This is our first meeting north of the border, and we are particularly pleased to be sharing this event with our Canadian members, who will be our cultural hosts. For the 2018 Annual Meeting, there are a few new initiatives and sessions, one of which is the Lightning Poster Presentations. These represent a metamorphosis of the “Guided Posters”, and provide an opportunity for selected participants to briefly present their work in an oral format, and continue with a more detailed session at the poster. We strongly urge all attendees to visit the posters, as well as our exhibitors and sponsors, who play a key role in making this meeting possible.
This year we will have a first and second prize for the individuals who meet all our exhibitors and sponsors during the meeting. So, please make sure you participate in this event, and you might find yourself the lucky recipient of an attractive prize.
We also have a new session this year, called “PID Year In Review”, which will give some of our junior faculty an opportunity to discuss an interesting clinical immunology paper published in the last year, under the guidance of a senior mentor. We thank the junior and senior faculty who have agreed to participate in this new activity.
There will be a pre-conference meeting, “Diagnostic Updates in Primary Immunodeficiencies and Immune Dysregulatory Diseases”, in collaboration with the Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists (AMLI). If you have not registered for the pre-conference meeting or annual meeting, please register now, as time is running out.
The WCIS Committee, initiated and championed by Drs. Victoria Dimitriades and Alexandra Freeman, is gaining momentum, and a strategic plan has been created to serve and support our women members. While the primary goal of the committee is to facilitate the advancement of women at all levels (students, residents, fellows, post-doctoral, clinicians, scientists, and faculty) in the CIS to attain their full academic potential via mentorship, sponsorship, personal and professional development, leadership, innovation, inclusiveness in a welcoming and supportive climate, it also encourages the participation and feedback of all members of the Society.
The WCIS will be hosting its first session at the Annual Meeting in Toronto, The Women in Clinical Immunology Sciences Luncheon. This luncheon will feature an introduction to the WCIS, including current issues facing women in the sciences, mindfulness and resilience in medicine, review of the recent WCIS survey results, and a panel discussion featuring leaders in the field. All Annual Meeting attendees are invited to attend!
CIS Mentoring Program
In order to actively continue the development of our junior members, trainees and faculty, CIS has started its own Mentoring Program. This program is available to all CIS Members, and aims to initiate and sustain collaboration, and career development among members of the Society. The criteria for being a Mentor and Mentee are outlined on the CIS Website.
Mentoring can include various aspects of developing and nurturing the career and progression goals of the mentee. It can include direct personal interactions (face-to-face), phone, or email discussions, and could cover a range of topics including, but not limited to, difficult clinical cases, career guidance, grant assistance and review, work-life balance, issues/barriers frequently faced in science, general networking, etc. Individuals can choose to be both Mentors and Mentees, depending on the stage of their career, and if there are specific areas in which they would like mentorship, and other areas where they could provide mentorship.
If you’re interested in joining this program, please reach out to the CIS Staff, who will be able to provide additional information. Please keep in mind that this program will only be successful if you take the time to participate as a Mentor or Mentee, so please spare a few minutes to visit the website and register in the appropriate category, or both, if you are so inclined.
I would like to recognize the Advocacy Committee and particularly, Dr. Jennifer Heimall, and the ECI members, who actively participated in preparing the Genetic Testing for Primary Immunodeficiencies white paper, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Immunology. This is a significant achievement for the Committee, and will be valuable resource to all members of the Society.
The CIS Executive Council has also approved the creation of a new Education Committee to specifically develop and support a variety of web-based, and video modules, and activities aimed at improving the educational offerings available to our members. Please support this new Committee as it gets underway. CIS would like to thank Horizon Pharma for their support and donation of a non-branded (CIS-owned) video educational module on Chronic Granulomatous Disease, contributed to by CIS members and leaders, which will be hosted on the website when completed.
In closing, I would like to thank all of you who have registered for the Annual Meeting, and the Pre-Conference, and reiterate our excitement at seeing you in Toronto. We look forward to participating in what will be a memorable scientific /clinical “feast of the mind”. I am deeply grateful for the efforts and hard work of the CIS staff, the Program Committee, speakers, and presenters, and participants who make it a meeting worth attending, and the highlight of our year.
“Science is a field which grows continuously with ever-expanding frontiers. Further, it is truly international in scope…Science is a collaborative effort. The combined results of several people working together is often much more effective than could be that of an individual scientist working alone” – John Bardeen
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success” – Henry Ford.
Roshini S. Abraham, PhD