Annual meeting of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
May 13-17, 2016
Washington State Convention Center, Seattle
Seattle plays host to this year’s annual meeting of the American Association of Immunologists
SEATTLE—Eat right, drink some healing teas, get some rest and otherwise make sure your body’s defenses are strong before you attend Immunology 2016—the annual meeting of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI).
No, not because your fellow immunologists will have weakened immune systems and be making you sick (at least we hope not), but because your body might just get a bit worn out while you’re there with the schedule at hand.
On the one hand, there is AAI’s programming—educational, business and social—to pay attention to. As AAI notes of Immunology 2016, you should (if you have an interest or stake in immunology matters) join them in Seattle for the conference to:
- Find the latest developments in your field
- Hear lectures by the world’s most prominent immunologists and poster presentations by scientists at every career stage
- Network with colleagues from more than 40 countries
- See the newest tools and techniques to benefit your research
And on the other hand, there's the city itself during your down time from Immunology 2016. As AAI notes of the venue for this year’s annual meeting: “Beyond the great science, adventure awaits you in Seattle, the uniquely cosmopolitan yet casual port city set spectacularly between Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains. Experience the vibrant energy of the city’s Downtown—Pike Place Market, Benaroya Hall, great restaurants and lively entertainment scene. Whether your musical taste is for Puccini or Pearl Jam, you’ll find it in Seattle. And at Immunology 2016, located in the beautiful Washington State Convention Center, you’ll enjoy access to it all. Join us there!”
Now let’s take a quick tour of the programming at Immunology 2016, shall we?
The president and the “distinguished”
One feature of the meeting will be the AAI President’s Program, which starts with the AAI President’s Address on Friday, May 13, at 5 p.m., with AAI President Dan R. Littman of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and New York University School of Medicine speaking on “From the thymus to the mucosa: a three-decade journey.”
A few days later, the president gets some play again with the AAI President’s Symposium, on host immune responses to viruses. That takes place Monday, May 16, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and features the following presentations:
- Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, “Regulation of innate immune pathways during RNA virus infections”
- Akiko Iwasaki, HHMI, Yale School of Medicine, “Antiviral immune responses at mucosal surfaces”
- Louis J. Picker, Oregon Health & Science University, “CD8+ T cell recognition of cytomegalovirus: who is in charge?”
- E. John Wherry, University of Pennsylvania, “Development and reversal of T cell exhaustion.”
Another feature will be the Distinguished Lectures program, with Ulrich H. von Andrian of Harvard Medical School presenting “Career decisions: How T cells remember pathogens” on Saturday, May 14, Susan K. Pierce of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) presenting “How B cells adapt in a changing world” on Sunday and John J. O’Shea, also of the NIH, presenting “Cytokine signaling: genes, genomes and drugs” on Monday.
Saturday, May 14, launches the first of eight Major Symposia at 8 a.m., with the title “Major Symposium A: Macrophage Development and Function in Health and Disease.” Speakers for that symposium are: Christopher K. Glass, University of California, San Diego, “Influence of tissue environment on macrophage identity and function;” Frederic Geissmann, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, “In-vivo analysis of macrophage functions;” Jeffrey W. Pollard, University of Edinburgh, “Tumor-associated macrophages: from mechanism to therapy;” Catherine C. Hedrick, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, “Monocyte subsets in cancer;” Jessica A. Hamerman, Benaroya Research Institute, “Macrophage differentiation during inflammation;” and Marco Colonna, Washington University School of Medicine, “Brain macrophages and neurodegeneration.”
Concurrent to that is “Major Symposium B: Unconventional T Cells and Innate-Like Lymphocytes.” Speaking under that banner are: Rebecca L. O’Brien, National Jewish Health, “Gamma/delta T cells prevent autoimmune attack by enhancing Treg development;” Yueh-Hsiu Chien, Stanford University, “Gamma-delta T cells: first line of defense and beyond;” Luc Teyton, Scripps Research Institute, “New lipids for old T cells;” Dale I. Godfrey, University of Melbourne, “The development and diversity of MR1-restricted MAIT cells;” James McCluskey, University of Melbourne, “The conundrum of MAIT cells;” and Richard M. Locksley, HHMI, University of California, San Francisco, “Allergic immunity: new cells, new pathways.”
Sunday, May 15, ushers in “Major Symposium C: A Breath of Fresh Air: New Developments in Respiratory Tract Immunity.” Speaking to that general topic are: Anuradha Ray, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, “Maintenance of lung immune homeostasis;” Thomas J. Braciale, University of Virginia School of Medicine, “Early innate immune response to virus infection in the respiratory tract;” Nicole Baumgarth, University of California, Davis, “Innate and adaptive B cell immunity in the respiratory tract;” Bart N. Lambrecht, University Ghent, “Epithelial and dendritic cell communication in type 2 immunity;” Dennis W. Metzger, Albany Medical College, “Immune dysfunction during influenza and susceptibility to secondary bacterial lung infections;” and Shabaana A. Khader, Washington University in St. Louis, “Vaccine immunity to tuberculosis: what to target?”
At the same time will be “Major Symposium D: Transcriptional Networks in Immune Cell Development,” which features the speakers: H. Leighton Grimes, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, “Using single-cell RNA-Seq for unbiased analysis of developmental hierarchies;” Boris Reizis, New York University Langone Medical Center, “Transcriptional control of dendritic cell differentiation;” Hai-Hui (Howard) Xue, University of Iowa, “Regulation of T cell identity by Tcf/Lef transcription factors;” Dorina Avram, University of Florida, “Bcl11b in transcriptional control of T cells and innate lymphoid cells;” Jinfang (Jeff) Zhu, NIH, “Heterogeneity of innate and adaptive lymphocytes regulated by intricate balance between master transcription factors;” and Barbara L. Kee, University of Chicago, “Regulation of natural killer cell effector fate by the Ets1-E/Id protein transcription factor network.”
The first of the pair of major symposia Monday, May 16, is “Major Symposium E: Cell-Cell Communication during Viral Infection.” Its speakers are: John R. Teijaro, Scripps Research Institute, “Employing activity-based chemoproteomic approaches to understand virus-immune interactions;” Frances E. Lund, University of Alabama at Birmingham, “Regulation of virus specific B cell fate decisions by the T-box transcription factor, T-bet;” Shane Crotty, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, “Follicular helper T cells in infections and antiviral vaccines;” Tania H. Watts, University of Toronto, “The where, when and why of GITR/GITRL in control of viral infection;” Susan M. Kaech, HHMI, Yale University, “Immunosuppressive vs. immunosupportive roles of IL-10 in antiviral immunity;” and Rama Rao Amara, Emory University, “The dynamics of follicular CD4 and CD8 T cells during chronic SIV infection.”
Concurrently on Monday is “Major Symposium F: Putting the Biology into Systems Biology,” which will bring to the podium: Harinder Singh, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, “Viewing the immune system through the lens of gene regulatory networks;” W. Nicholas Haining, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, “Epigenetic landscape of T cell exhaustion;” Nir Yosef, University of California, Berkeley, “Identification of dendritic cell subsets in HIV-1 elite controllers using single-cell RNA-Seq;” Galit Alter, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, “Mining for mechanisms of humoral immune protection using Systems Serology;” Bali Pulendran, Emory Vaccine Center at Yerkes, “Systems vaccinology;” and Mark M. Davis, HHMI, Stanford University, “Nature, nurture and the alpha beta TCR repertoire.”
Finally, on Tuesday, the first of the two concurrent major symposia is “Major Symposium G: T Cell Specialization in Tissues: From Thymus to Periphery (and Back).” Speaking on that are: Stephen C. Jameson, University of Minnesota, “Regulation of memory T cell residency and recirculation;” Thomas S. Kupper, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, “Protective memory T cells in barrier tissues;” Donna L. Farber, Columbia University Medical Center, “Human T cell tissue compartmentalization: from naïve to memory;” Martin Prlic, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, “Human T cell function in healthy and inflamed mucosal tissues;” Jonathan D. Powell, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, “Dissecting and targeting mTOR signaling in T cells;” and Paola Romagnoli, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, “Peripheral regulatory T lymphocytes recirculating to the thymus suppress the development of their precursors.”
Pulling up the rear is “Major Symposium H: Novel Concepts in Neuroimmunology” with the presenters: Jonathan Kipnis, University of Virginia School of Medicine, “The role of meningeal lymphatics in CNS autoimmunity” and Joan M. Goverman, University of Washington, “Do T cells shape neuroinflammatory patterns in multiple sclerosis?” followed by Dorian McGavern, NIH, “Dynamics of immune interactions that contribute to health and disease in the living brain;” Zsuzsanna Fabry, University of Wisconsin, “Novel roles for cytokines regulating neuroimmune interactions in CNS trauma;” Francisco J. Quintana, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, “Regulation of CNS inflammation;” and Claudia F. Lucchinetti, Mayo Clinic, “NFκB signaling drives pro-granulocytic astroglial responses to the neuromyelitis optica IgG: pathogenic and therapeutic implications.”
Awards and more
Several awards will be presented during Immunology 2016, among them:
AAI Lifetime Achievement Award—AAI President Dan R. Littman will introduce the awardee, Olivera J. Finn of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and present the award prior to the start of the President’s Address. The AAI Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the AAI Council upon an AAI member. This award recognizes a deserving member for a career of scientific achievement and for contributions to AAI and fellow immunologists.
AAI Distinguished Service Award—AAI Executive Director M. Michele Hogan will introduce the awardee and present during the AAI business meeting this award, which this year recognizes Mitchell Kronenberg of the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology for outstanding service to AAI and the immunology community as the AAI Secretary-Treasurer for two terms, 2009-2015.
AAI-BD Biosciences Investigator Award Presentation and Lecture—to be presented to winner Ming Li of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University right before his lecture titled “Immunity and tolerance in cancer.” The AAI-BD Biosciences Investigator Award recognizes an early-career investigator who has made outstanding contributions to the field of immunology.
AAI-BioLegend Herzenberg Award Presentation and Lecture—to be presented to John F. Kearney of the University of Alabama, Birmingham, prior to his lecture “B cell repertoire ontogeny influences allergy and autoimmunity.” The AAI-BioLegend Herzenberg Award recognizes outstanding research contributions to the field of immunology in the area of B cell biology.
AAI-Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research Presentation and Lecture—to be presented to Lieping Chen of the Yale University School of Medicine just prior to his talk titled “PD-1/PD-L1 blockade therapy for human cancer: past, present and future.” The AAI-Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the understanding of immune processes underlying human disease pathogenesis, prevention or therapy.
AAI Excellence in Mentoring Award—to be presented to Richard A. Flavell of HHMI and the Yale University School of Medicine prior to the start of the President’s Symposium. The AAI Excellence in Mentoring Award recognizes exemplary career contributions to a future generation of scientists.
AAI-Thermo Fisher Meritorious Career Award Presentation and Lecture—to be presented to Kenneth M. Murphy of HHMI and the Washington University School of Medicine just before his lecture “Proper responses to pathogens – a DC / T cell dialog.” The AAI-Thermo Fisher Meritorious Career Award recognizes a mid-career scientist for outstanding research contributions to the field of immunology.
Other awards will be presented at the AAI Business Meeting & Awards Presentations on Saturday, May 14. As noted above, one of those awards to be given there is the AAI Distinguished Service Award, but the meeting will also be the opportunity to give out the AAI-Thermo Fisher Trainee Achievement Awards, Chambers-eBioscience Memorial Award, Lefrancois-BioLegend Memorial Award, Lustgarten-eBioscience Memorial Award and Pfizer-Showell Travel Award.