American Association of Immunologists Annual Meeting
May 4-8, 2018
Austin Convention Center
Austin-bound for immunology
American Association of Immunologists brings annual meeting to Texas
AUSTIN, Texas—Along with enjoying plentiful live music and delicious breakfast tacos, those interested in immunology can be guaranteed a warm weather welcome for their premier annual gathering, as Austin hosts Immunology 2018—this year’s annual meeting of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI)—in May. For our immunology-interested readers who may not have signed up yet for Immunology 2018, the late registration deadline is May 3, so there is still plenty of time to sign up.
As AAI’s website says, “At Immunology 2018, you’ll hear from global leaders in immunology and talented early-career investigators alike—all discussing breakthroughs across the full spectrum of topics in the field. Explore the latest developments in immunology, attend lectures by the world’s most prominent scientists, expand your horizons with career-development resources, speak with poster authors presenting the latest science, network with colleagues from around the world, discover new techniques and resources that can benefit your research and enjoy outstanding social events. With so much to do alongside a robust scientific program, make plans now to join us there.”
Featured in the Immunology 2018 programming will be the AAI President’s Program, which begins with the AAI President’s Address on Friday, May 4 at 5 p.m. by AAI President Wayne M. Yokoyama of Washington University School of Medicine, entitled “50 years (well, almost!) in immunology.” On Monday, May 7, the AAI President’s Symposium, “Into the Limelight: Natural Killer and Innate Lymphoid Cells,” will run from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and feature the following presentations:
- “NK cell activation and inactivation in the tumor microenvironment” by David H. Raulet, University of California, Berkeley
- “NK cells in the oncology clinic” by Katharine C. Hsu, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- “Teasing apart transcriptional regulation in innate lymphoid cells” by Gabrielle T. Belz, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medicine Research, Australia
- “Innate lymphoid cell plasticity” by Marco Colonna, Washington University School of Medicine
The AAI Distinguished Lectures will begin on Saturday, May 5, with “Treg-mediated immune tolerance in health and disease” by Jeffrey A. Bluestone of the University of California, San Francisco. On Sunday, May 6, will be “Educating T cells from the cradle through adolescence” by Pamela J. Fink of the University of Washington School of Medicine. Monday, May 7, will feature “A panoramic VISTA of the immune system” by Randolph J. Noelle of the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine.
Career development sessions
Chaired by Mary T. Litzinger of the Education and Awards Department at AAI, “How to Convert Your CV into a Resumé” runs Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., featuring speaker Derek Haseltine, who is director of the Career Development Center at Baylor College of Medicine.
“For anyone seeking a job outside of academe, how you present yourself on paper is critical. A well-prepared resumé can make all the difference in securing that interview. The focus of this session will be on the important elements of a resumé, the differences between a resumé and the standard academic curriculum vitae and the information needed to make a good impression,” says AAI. “In this special career development session, attendees will be instructed in how to transform their CVs into professional resumés. Small breakout sessions for individual consulting will follow.” Bringing your CV is encouraged.
The “Immunology Teaching Interest Group” session on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is chaired by Anil K. Bamezai of Villanova University and David W. Mullins of Dartmouth College. Presentations will include:
- Edith Porter, California State University, Los Angeles: “Integrating caring and the human dimension in immunology to improve student learning”
- Crystal C. Walline, University of North Carolina, Pembroke: “Teaching immunology essentials with clinical correlations”
- Doreen E. Szollosi, University of Saint Joseph School of Pharmacy: “Promoting critical thinking through writing in a first-year immunology course”
- Kara R. Lukin and Katja Aviszus, University of Colorado, Denver: “How to create effective student-driven learning without becoming overwhelmed”
Overlapping on Saturday, from 11:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., “Careers Roundtable and Speed Networking Session”—chaired by Robert J. Binder of the University of Pittsburgh and AAI Minority Affairs Committee Chair—will teach attendees to network.
As AAI suggests: “Take advantage of the opportunity to meet in small-group format with accomplished, senior immunologists to hear how they have handled the career challenges you now face and learn what they believe will work for you today. Then practice networking in a relaxed environment offering a structured networking exercise and personalized feedback on communicating your scientific interests/objectives most effectively.”
The “NIH Grants Workshop: Demystifying the Grant Application Submission, Review, and Funding Processes” offering is on Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The panel will be chaired by Tina McIntyre of the National Instituted of Health (NIH) and include panelists also from NIH: McIntyre, a scientific review officer; Alison Deckhut-Augustine, chief of the Basic Immunology Branch at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Deborah Hodge, a scientific review officer.
“This workshop will provide participants with an overview of NIH grant submission, assignment, review and funding opportunities. Emphasis will be given to identification of the most appropriate funding agencies and mechanisms available through NIH, how to make an application ‘reviewer-friendly’ and other strategies that contribute to applications that succeed in obtaining research funding,” notes AAI. “The workshop will also provide information on how to understand the peer review system, which is essential to competing successfully for funding, with a focus on recent changes to the review process.”
“Careers in Biotech: Panel Discussion and Networking,” chaired by Kerry A. Casey of MedImmune, will commence on Saturday and run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The panelists will be: Andrew C. Chan, senior vice president, research biology at Genentech Inc.; David J. DiLillo, staff scientist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Stephen T. Haley, vice president, North America, and chief commercial officer at Immudex; and Catherine J. McMahan, senior director at Aptevo Therapeutics. This panel will discuss opportunities and positions in laboratory research, program management, business development, regulatory affairs, clinical trials oversight, medical liaison and more, according to AAI.
Sunday kicks off with the 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. “Strategies for Successful Postdoctoral Training,” chaired by Courtney R. Pinard of the Education and Awards Department at AAI. This session will have speaker Deirdre Brekken, assistant dean for postdoctoral affairs at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and will highlight ways of getting the most out of your postdoctoral training, relating successfully with your mentor and understanding how to use the resources available to you to ensure that your training prepares you for the transition into the next phase of your career.
The “Interviewing for a Job” panel runs Sunday from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m—with Litzinger and Haseltine at the helm, as with the “How to Convert Your CV into a Resumé” offering noted earlier—and will focus on “tips and techniques to help you successfully navigate the interview process. Emphasis will be on how you can present yourself in the best possible light. You will also learn how to respond to unexpected questions.”
The “Careers in Science Roundtable” takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, chaired by Laura A. Solt of The Scripps Research Institute and chair of the AAI Committee on the Status of Women. According to AAI, topics include international opportunities in science, succeeding in graduate school, participating in NIH Study Sections, considerations for scientists in M.D. and Ph.D. careers and exciting careers outside of the bench. There are also table discussions on navigating work-life issues such as balancing careers with family and transitioning from specific career stages that may be relevant to any work environment.
“Writing Scientific Manuscripts and Responding to Reviewers: Tips on Navigating the Process” is on Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., chaired by Brian D. Evavold of the University of Utah and AAI Publications Committee chair, along with Pamela J. Fink of the University of Washington School of Medicine and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Immunology. The speakers will include Evavold, Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Fink.
In this session, sponsored by the AAI Publications Committee, experienced editors will provide valuable insights to the processes of preparing a manuscript and responding to reviewers’ comments, according to AAI. Fink will also speak on how to avoid possible ethical missteps in scientific publishing.
“International Opportunities in Science” will be held on Monday, May 7, from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The session will be chaired by Hans-Martin Jäck of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, and include as panelists Anne Hosmalin, Institute Cochin, France; Christopher J. Paige, Princess Margaret Cancer Center, Canada; Bing Sun, Chinese Academy of Science, China; and Winfried F. Pickl, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.
According to AAI, panelists will discuss the postdoctoral fellowship and grant application process, the benefits of international training and employment, the challenges in finding science-related jobs outside of the United States and the process of moving your lab to another country.
Award lectures and presentations
Laurie H. Glimcher of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School will receive the AAI Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by the AAI Council upon an AAI member. This award recognizes a deserving member for a remarkable career of scientific achievement and for contributions to AAI and the field of immunology.
The AAI Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual for enduring and exemplary service to AAI and the immunology community, goes to Wendy L. Havran of The Scripps Research Institute.
Hai Qi of Tsinghua University in China will receive the AAI-BD Biosciences Investigator Award, which recognizes an investigator for early-career achievement in immunology research. Qi will present on “T-B interactions and the germinal center response.”
The AAI-BioLegend Herzenberg Award, which recognizes outstanding research contributions to the field of immunology in the area of B cell biology, will be presented to Jason G. Cyster of the University of California, San Francisco. He will lecture on “Deciphering the guidance cue code for B cell immunity.”
Akiko Iwasaki of the Yale School of Medicine will accept the AAI-Thermo Fisher Meritorious Career Award, which recognizes a mid-career scientist for exceptional research contributions to the field of immunology. Iwasaki will lecture on “Learning immunology from viruses.”
The AAI Excellence in Mentoring Award will be presented to Marc K. Jenkins of the University of Minnesota Medical School. The award recognizes exemplary career contributions to a future generation of scientists.
John J. O’Shea of the NIH will accept the AAI-Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research, as well as present a talk on “Cytokine signaling: translational advances, future opportunities and challenges.” The award for Human Immunology Research recognizes an individual for significant, sustained achievement in immunology research pertinent to human disease pathogenesis, prevention or therapy.
Founded in 1913, the American Association of Immunologists is an association of professionally trained scientists from all over the world dedicated to advancing the knowledge of immunology and its related disciplines, fostering the interchange of ideas and information among investigators and addressing the potential integration of immunologic principles into clinical practice. The association serves its members by providing a center for the dissemination of information relevant to the field and its practices such as educational and professional opportunities, scientific meetings, membership-derived issues and opinions, and important funding and policy issues. AAI owns and publishes The Journal of Immunology, the largest and most highly cited journal in the field, as well as ImmunoHorizons, an open access, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the science of immunology.
Saturday, May 5, 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Major Symposium A: Transcriptional Control of Immunity: Diverse Regulatory Mechanisms in Gene Regulation
- Role for metabolites in regulating cellular differentiation gene programs
- Transcriptional control of dendritic cell function in vivo
- A histone “tail”: coordinating RNA splicing and histone modification—from yeast to macrophages
- Regulation of innate immune cells by lncRNAs
- Molecular mechanisms defining tumor-specific T cell differentiation and dysfunction
- Mechanisms regulating selective transcriptional responses to innate immune stimuli
Major Symposium B: Immune Cells in Tissue Niches
- Stromal niche in cancer immunology and immunotherapy
- Roles of resident macrophages in brain, bone, and fat tissue homeostasis
- CNS immunity: new players in neuroprotection
- Maternal gut bacteria, immune cells, and neurodevelopmental disorder
- Microbial regulation of intestinal immunity
- Regulation of Drosophila hemocyte number and sessility by an adipokine
Sunday, May 6, 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Major Symposium C: New Regulatory Concepts from Human Immunology Studies
- Inflammation, tissue resident gamma delta T cells, and the journey of no return
- New precision medicine therapies emerge from genomic investigation of diseases of the immune system
- Genetic and environmental determinants of interindividual variation in immune responses to infection
- Lymphocyte diversity: matching specificity and function
- Human genetics to innate immune pathways
- Primary immune regulatory disorders as human models to understand immunological tolerance
Major Symposium D: Gone but not Forgotten: The Impact of Cell Death on the Immune Response
- Exposure of phospatidylserine on apoptotic cells
- Phagocyte responses to dying cells
- Death begets a new beginning: recognition of apoptotic cells in the induction of tissue repair
- Lymphatic endothelial cell death as a vehicle for antigen exchange and maintenance of T cell memory
- The innate immune response to Zika virus infection of the central nervous system
- Regulation of inflammasome activation and cell death
Monday, May 7, 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Major Symposium E: Developing More Effective Cancer Immunotherapies
- Immune checkpoint blockade in cancer therapy: new insights and opportunities, and prospects for cures
- Elucidating the fundamental principles of personalized cancer vaccines
- Targeting dendritic cells to modulate antitumor immunity
- Insights into the mechanisms regulating antigenicity and adjuvanticity of irradiated tumors
- A personal neoantigen vaccine in patients with high risk melanoma
- Engineering T cell responses to effectively target and then eliminate tumors
Major Symposium F: Immune – Microbe Coevolution
- Immune evasion, adaptation, and escape: the MCMV m12 immunoevasin controls NK cell immunity by targeting the prototypical NKR-P1 family
- Host-microbe interactions: harnessing co-evolution to treat disease
- Microbial interactions in HIV infection
- Lessons from novel viruses in infection and immunity
- Host-multibiome interactions in intestinal infection and inflammation
- How do inflammasomes detect rapidly evolving pathogens?
Tuesday, May 8, 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Major Symposium G: Molecular Basis of B cell Differentiation and Function
- Resident memory B cells in the lung
- B cell differentiation pathways in human SLE
- Understanding somatically hypermutated IgM memory B cells
- B cell activation induces a switch from canonical to non-canonical autophagy that shapes B cell fate
- B cell roles in bone homeostasis in rheumatoid arthritis
Major Symposium H: Neuroscience of Immunity
- Molecular basis for reflex integration of immunity
- Glia-derived signals promote focal protective immunity to CNS infection
- Nociceptor neuron regulation of innate immunity and host defense
- Using imaging to study the neural – immune interplay
- Antibodies, microglial activation and cognitive impairments
- Neuro-immune cell interactions that drive atopic dermatitis
NIH institute-sponsored sessions
National Institute on Aging (NIA) Symposium
Aging and Hematopoiesis
Sunday May 6, 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
- Aging of the bone marrow environment
- Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function in Regeneration and Aging
- The effects of aging on the transcriptional profile of hematopoietic stem cell subpopulations
- Hematopoietic stem cell aging and rejuvenation: inflammasome regulation of the mitochondrial metabolic checkpoint
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Symposium
Maternal Effects on Fetal Immunity
Sunday, May 6, 3:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m.
- Mechanism of immune regulation by the placenta
- How antigen presentation by the nonclassical MHC, HLA-F, modulates its interactions with NK receptors
- Expansion of CD38-expressing NK cells with enhanced antiviral activity during pregnancy
- Maternal and fetal T cell activation during preterm labor
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Symposium
Novel Findings and Next Steps Concerning Nanomaterial Exposures on the Immune System
Sunday, May 6, 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
- Understanding mast cell activation in the development of safe nanotechnologies
- Immunomodulatory effects of nanoparticles in a mouse model of skin and allergy
- Nanomaterials accelerate systemic autoimmune disease in lupus-prone New Zealand mixed mice
- Nano environmental health and safety research: where are we now?