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World-Renowned Scientists to Lead Immunology Course

BOSTON, May 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by the Federation of Clinical Immunology:

FOCIS 2008 At-A-Glance

Who: 1,200 physician scientists from 58 countries across the globe

What: FOCIS 2008 -- the premier meeting in clinical immunology

When: Wednesday, June 4-Monday, June 9

Where: Boston Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02116

Why: To accelerate science that improves patient care

Wednesday, June 4

8:30 am to 4:45 pm

Salon D, Fourth Floor, Boston Marriott Copley Place

World-Renowned Scientists to lead Immunology Course

Basic Immunology in Medicine: Update 2008 -- This one-day course was created in 2003 by Dr. Abul Abbas of the

University of California-San Francisco and Dr. Hidde Ploegh of the Whitehead Institute and MIT.

Abbas is known in the field of immunology for directing courses and authoring text books related to basic immunology. At present, Abbas has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and invited reviews on a number of subjects, including B-cell and T-cell development and regulation, cytokine-mediated regulation of immune cell function, and immune cell apoptosis.

Ploegh was recently honored by the Belgian InBev-Baillet Latour Fund with the Interbrew-Baillet Latour Health Prize. One of the world's leading researchers in immune system behavior, Ploegh studies the various tactics that viruses employ to evade our immune responses, and the ways in which our immune system distinguishes friend from foe. His findings have implications for both vaccine and drug development.

The purpose of this course is to review selected topics in basic immunology. The topics have been chosen based on two main criteria -- issues that are relevant to clinical problems and the development of novel therapeutic strategies, and areas in which there have been substantial progress in the recent past.

Thursday, June 5

7:45 am to 5:50 pm

Salon D, Fourth Floor, Boston Marriott Copley Place

Interventional Immunology Course: Rationale and underlying mechanisms related to therapeutic targets in various diseases.

The Interventional Immunology Course provides education on the many new therapies that are currently available or in development which are based on targets unfamiliar to many practicing physicians. There is potentially great value for, but lack of, cross-disciplinary reviews of these types of therapies.

This course reviews the scientific basis for choice of immunogically related therapeutic targets in various diseases, including organ specific and systemic autoimmunity, allergy, transplant rejection, cancer, and HIV. The goal is to help understand the rationale and mechanism underlying the major pharmacologic approaches for interventional immunology in current practice and review the track record of the different therapeutic approaches in different specialties.

Thursday, June 5

8:00 am to 7:00 pm

Provincetown, Fourth Floor, Boston Marriott Copley Place

Innovative Approach to Trainee Development

FOCIS Centers of Excellence Trainee Satellite Symposium -- FOCIS Centers of Excellence (FCE), centers for clinical immunology at multiple, international institutions, were organized in 2003 to intensify and accelerate local multidisciplinary scientific and clinical innovation, education, and advocacy. Currently, 37 Centers exist at medical educational institutions in North America, as well as 14 additional centers internationally. The FCE are committed to sustaining a network of cooperative laboratories without walls with the ultimate goal of improving patient care through collaborative research efforts and the sharing of best practices.

The sixth annual Trainee Satellite Symposium features presentations by trainees from each of the FCE who are chosen based upon a competitive selection process within each institution. Oral presentations are awarded to trainees whose abstracts are deemed the best work from among the Centers.

Friday, June 6

8:30 am to 9:00 am

Salon F, Fourth Floor, Boston Marriott Copley Place

Morning Plenary: From Pediatric Infectious Diseases to Novel Primary Immunodeficiencies, presented by Jean Laurent Casanova, MD, PhD, University of Paris/Rene Descartes-INSERM U550, Paris, France

Friday, June 6

10:15 am to 10:45 am

Salon E, Fourth Floor, Boston Marriott Copley Place

Thematic Symposia: Pulmonary CXCR2 Regulates VCam-I Dependent, Antigen-induced Recruitment of Mast Cell Progenitors to Lung, presented by K. Frank Austen, MD, Brigham & Women's Hospital

Saturday, June 7

2:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Salon F, Fourth Floor, Boston Marriott Copley Place

Afternoon Plenary: Molecular and Functional Anatomy of the Inflammatory Reflex, presented by Kevin Tracey, MD, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Research Institute

Saturday, June 7

5:00 pm to 5:45 pm

Salon F, Fourth Floor, Boston Marriott Copley Place

Keynote Address: Interleukin-1 beta, the Caspase-1 Inflammasome & Treating Autoinflammatory Diseases, presented by Charles Dinarello, MD, University of Colorado

Sunday, June 8

8:30 am to 9:00 am

Salon F, Fourth Floor, Boston Marriott Copley Place

Morning Plenary: Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Cancer Therapy, presented by James Allison, PhD, Memorial

Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Monday, June 9

8:00 am to 12:30 pm

Salon E, Fourth Floor, Boston Marriott Copley Place

FOCIS Network of Consortia: Convergence on a Common Theme: The FOCIS Network of Consortia (NOC) connects multiple disease specific, genetic consortia in an effort to uncover the genetic basis of autoimmunity. The NOC recently completed a second round of genome wide association scans revealing novel candidate genes that may provide important insights into disease pathogenesis and therapeutic targets.

For more information on the scientific program, go to

SOURCE Federation of Clinical Immunology
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