As summer in the northern hemisphere is winding down, I hope you have found time for some personal time and reflection and I hope that you and your families are remaining safe during the SARS-CoV2 pandemic. As we move into fall, I want to give you a quick update of some of the activities that we have been engaged in at CIS.
We just completed our first virtual CIS Summer School for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases where we were joined by 31 trainee and early career attendees and 23 observers. While it lacked some of the in-person networking opportunities, it successfully captured the case-based educational format, the banter among the attendees and the faculty, and the enthusiasm and excitement for clinical and translational immunology that are hallmarks of this longstanding educational program. I want to thank the faculty of the summer school and in particular, Kate Sullivan and Sarah Tulley from the CIS staff for making this virtual experiment a tremendous success.
Preparations are underway for the 2021 CIS Annual Meeting! The planning committee has assembled an exciting program that will highlight some of the best science in clinical and translational immunology, outstanding listserve cases, and the hottest of the hot new defects. Watch for specific details about the meeting that will be forthcoming shortly.
Recently, the CIS staff, Committee Chairs, and CIS Council met in a virtual retreat to discuss the CIS Strategic Plan, and how our outlook and plans for the coming year may change due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. We discussed our progress and gaps toward fulfilling the six pillar mission of CIS: Education, Innovation, Membership, Communication, Partnerships and Advocacy. We reviewed what has already been accomplished since this strategic plan was put into place last year, what adjustments need to be made, and in some cases, new efforts that should be added.
One important topic discussed at length during our virtual retreat was the critical need for CIS to address diversity within the field of clinical and translational Immunology, the need to bring new colleagues and new voices into our community, and the need to address issues of racial disparity that affect the care of our patients. The CIS council is united in our commitment to increase racial and gender diversity within our ranks, among the attendees at our educational programs, and as speakers/experts at our scientific meetings. Recognizing that these goals will require sustained focus and effort, we are creating a Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The leadership of this committee and its specific roles and responsibilities are still being developed but will be formally introduced in the months to come.
Finally, let me take this opportunity to announce some changes in the CIS staff. After almost 13 years as the Executive Director of CIS, Anne Krolikowski has been promoted within the EDI management company and will be transitioning to another team. Anne’s efficiency, wit and wisdom serve as examples of excellence in management and leadership. On behalf of the CIS leadership and Council I would like to express my gratitude to Anne for her dedication to our society over the years. Thanks in large part to Anne, our CIS management team, and our members, the society has been in a position to weather the challenges imposed by the pandemic.
While we are sad to see Anne leave the CIS family, I am pleased to welcome our new Executive Director, Nadine Couto, who has been with EDI since 2002. Nadine was promoted to Executive Director of CIS starting officially October 4th. Nadine has over 18 years of non-profit management experience and has worked in several different capacities at EDI, including most recently as the Director of Meetings with the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. Nadine’s knowledge and familiarity of non-profit management will aide us in this transition, and we are very much looking forward to working with her for many years to come!
Troy Torgerson, MD, PhD
CIS President, 2019-2021