12th International Course for Clinical Immunology of Infectious Diseases (ICCI) at the Suez Canal University in Egypt, October29th – December 6th, 2007
(organized by Dr Ahmed El-Gohary, President forResearch and Post-Graduate Studies, Suez Canal University and Presidentof FAIS)
The 6-week course was sponsored by the Japanese Government andby IUIS.
This course is intended mostly to benefit sub-Saharaparticipants, who are working in clinical immunology laboratories andtrying to do graduate work on a part time basis. Our support covers thecost of two additional students to attend the course, this year fromSudan and Yemen.
Students are provided with current views inImmunology, particularly those relevant to Africa; hands-on practicalsessions are included. All lecturers commented on a very interactiveand amazing group of participants.
Every year, the course has adifferent flavor. This year was the first to combine with theInternational Brain Research Organization (IBRO) school in Egypt andprovide a Neuro-immunology course for 3 days. International speakerswere from Italy, Sweden, South Africa, Kenya, and France. In addition,5 more participants from different parts of Africa and several fromEgypt were invited by IBRO to join the ICCI for those 3 days.
3rd Mediterranean Course of Immunology in Marrakech, Morocco, October 26-30 2007
The course was organized and/or sponsoredby the French Society of Immunology (FSI), the Pasteur Institutes ofMaroc, Paris, Tunis and Casablanca, the Faculty of Science andTechnology of Marrakech (FSTM), Faculty of Science of Tunis, TheAlgerian Society of Immunology (ASI) and IUIS. It was additionallysponsored by iBio Experts, Pfizer Maroc and Applied Genome, France andMaroc.
Theme of the course: “De l’immunologie fondamentale àl’immunologie infectieuse”.
There were 90 participating studentsincluding 74 from Maroc, 14 from Tunisia and 2 from Algeria. There were8 teachers, 2 sponsors, and in addition 5 guests for a round tablediscussion. There were 19 hours of lectures on basic andanti-infectious immunology, 2 technical workshops on quantitative PCR,and 4 hours of presentation and technical workshop by the sponsors.
Posters by the participants were displayed throughout the meeting andthere was an official session as well as 6 short oral presentations byselected students. A round table discussion on the objectives of thesecourses led to the conclusions that sharing knowledge and being able topresent one’s research and interact directly with professors andcolleagues were a critical component of the course.
The theoreticalknowledge acquired and familiarization with methods of presentation ofdata are essential for students interested in pursuing graduate work inFrance or in North African countries. It was also proposed to create anImmunology Network for French speaking countries and to continue theMediterranean courses in subsequent years.
It is crucial thatInfectious Diseases be a dominant theme of future meetings to respondto the needs of African countries. The Société Marocaine d’Immunologie(SMI) was recently created (19/11/2007) and should be instrumental intheorganization of future courses.
8th John Humphrey Advanced Programme in Immunology in Moscow, Sept8-14th, 2007
(organized by Dr Robert Bomford for the British Society ofImmunology and the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of BioorganicChemistry. Theme: “Immunology and Viral Infection”)
Co-sponsored by IUIS, The European Federation of ImmunologicalSocieties/ European Journal of Immunology (EFIS/EJI), The RussianAcademy of Sciences (RAS), The Russian Federation for Basic Research(RFBS), The Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry ofthe Russian Academy of Sciences,The British Council (BC),The BritishSociety for Immunology (BSI).
The purpose of these meetings is to provide advanced training to youngimmunologists principally from Russia and the other CIS countries. Themeeting was organized by Dr R Bomford of the UK, and by Prof. V.Nesmeyanov of Russia, who unfortunately died on July 13th, 2007. Hisdedicated work on behalf of the John Humphrey programs since theirinception contributed greatly to their success. The organisation of themeeting was taken over by Prof. A. Gabibov and colleagues from theShemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and asuccessful meeting was held and dedicated to the memory of Prof.Nesmeyanov.
The international faculty was from Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Russia,UK and USA and the students were postgraduate, under 35 years of ageand had to submit an abstract in English of sufficient quality andrelevance for the meeting. The abstracts were divided into short oralcommunications in the workshops and posters. 63/82 applicants wereaccepted. They were from Belarus (13), Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Moldovaand Ukraine (1 each) and Russia: Moscow (19), Novosibirsk (7) and StPetersburg (12). Eight students from the United Kingdom alsoparticipated. Additional students from Moscow attended some of thesessions. The conference achieved its objective of bringing togetheryoung scientists from 7 different nations who would probably nototherwise have had the opportunity to meet.
The lectures began at basic level and progressed to a masterly overviewof the current position in T cell biology and viral immunology (T cellbiology, LCMV and hepatitis B and C, HIV and viral CTL, influenza andHerpes virus). As an innovation, the meeting brought together Russianand Western faculty members already in contact and collaborating in thefields of influenza (M Matrosovitch, Marburg and N Bovin, Moscow) andherpes-viruses (A Rickinson, Birmingham and V Gurtsevitch, Moscow).There was also a Russian speaker in the HIV session (A Kozlov, StPetersburg).
There were good relevant short oral presentations from the students inthe workshops with a uniformly high standard of presentation. This wasa considerable achievement, especially for the non-UK students with afirst experience at giving a talk in English. The posters were mostlyclear and comprehensible, and their scientific quality ranged fromexcellent to somewhat pedestrian. The poster sessions were wellattended, and fulfilled their function in establishing personal contactbetween the students and faculty.
A scientific report of the meeting has been written by Laura Mackay andAbhishek Das, two of the participating UK students, and will bepublished in Immunology News, the journal of the British Society forImmunology.
Travel Awards for trainees to attend the InternationalImmunologyCongress in Rio de Janeiro, August 21st -25th, 2007
(sponsored by theLatin American Association of Immunology, the Brazilian Society for Immunology and IUIS)
The 13th International Congress of Immunology issponsored by IUIS, the Latin American Association of Immunology (ALAI),and the Brazilian Society for Immunology (SBI).
Financial support(travel grants) was requested to ensure funding incentives for about320 students and young researchers of developing countries fromdifferent regions such as Southeast Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe andLatin America, thus, to enable them to join the Congress and exchangeknowledge with the scientific immunology staff from all over the world.
Those competing for Young Scientist Travel Grant awards had to beselected for oral presentation, less than 40 years old and preferencewas given to those from countries in development or non-OECD(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Applicantshad to submit a one paragraph stating why they should receive thetravel grant and a brief Curriculum vitae.
Our funding contributed to several students attending the InternationalCongress and enjoying the fabulous city of Rio. It was an excellentmeeting for students of the world to interact and discuss science andother topics.