Given our immunological expertise in times of pandemic, we have become much more in demand with our external relationships. The COVAX initiative, led by GAVI, and supported by CEPI and WHO, aims to ensure rapid and fair access to any new vaccines against SARS-CoV2 and/or COVID-19. We have nominated two of our vaccine experts, Rita Carsetti and Ursula Weidermann-Schmidt, to participate in the COVAX initiatives, and more nominations are likely. Participation in this initiative will ensure we have vaccine experts involved in vaccine decisions.
IUIS has non-state actor status at the World Health Organisation, and we have just submitted our Collaborative Plan for 2021-23 for approval. This plan focuses on the excellent work our committees do and how we can provide expert advice on standardisation and nomenclature of vaccines and biologicals, as well as partnering with WHO to enhance our Education activities.
IUIS is also a member of the International Science Council, who aspire to advance science as a global public good. I encourage all IUIS members to visit the ISC page for new opportunities and activities for both societies and individuals. The ISC recently released a discussion document on scientific publishing and open access to data, and IUIS has submitted two responses to this document and Faith and I will attend the summary briefing to report back to members. We also thank Bjoern Peters, from the QAS committee, who has volunteered to be our IUIS representative on the ISC CODATA Project.
Our membership categories increased at the General Assembly last year, and we have now streamlined the process for new members, including those in the Associate Membership category. We are recruiting new members for this category (no fees!), focussed on scientific societies whose activities and goals align with our own and I encourage you all to look to the other organisations of which you may be members, and suggest they join IUIS too.
Finally, we have had to move most of our usual meetings to an online format. The Council meeting in November will be held virtually, but we hold out hope for some face to face meetings at FAIS (now in 2021) and ALACI (also in 2021).
With best regards,
IUIS Secretary - General Roslyn Kemp
A successful end to a fantastic series - IUIS and Frontiers reflect on the COVID-19 webinars
The IUIS-Frontiers Covid-19 webinar series was a tremendous success: International acclaimed international speakers shared their insights and latest research results on Covid-19-related topics in 20 webinars that welcomed more than 8,800 scientists from 86 countries in total. All presentations garnered great feedback – attendees especially enjoyed the lively back-and-forth with presenters during the discussion periods.
The webinar series was organized by Faith Osier, Rita Carsetti and Miriam Merad in close collaboration with Frontiers.
Our sincere thanks goes out to all of the speakers for their thought-provoking and insightful lectures: Rino Rappuoli, Giuseppe Ippolito, Eleanor Fish, Rachel Humphrey, Andreas Radbruch, Mihai Netea, Sharon Lewin, Katherine Kedzierska, Donna Farber, Lisa Ng, Eric Vivier, Salim Karim, Hans-Martin Jäck, Adrian Hayday, Michael Reth, Elizabeth Mann, Madhvi Menon, Sacha Gnjatic, Yuting Ma, Kathleen Sullivan, Joyce Ngoi, Peter Quashie and Alexis M Kalergis.
We also wished to express our gratitude to our wonderful moderators whose participation was crucial to the success of the series: Faith Osier, Rita Carsetti, Juan-Carlos Zuniga-Pflücker, Miriam Merad, Roslyn Kemp, Henry Mwandumba, Abdallah Badou, Clive Gray, Tim Sparwasser, Nigel Stevenson, Ann Ager, Carmen Martin, Gordon Awandare and Rosana Pelayo.
We hope you could gain valuable information from our webinar series – in case you missed one of them, they are available on-demand at:
Quality Assessment and Standardization Committee (QAS)
Allergen Standardization Sub-Committee
Allergen products used for therapy for allergic diseases are typically produced from native extracts of the allergenic source, for example pollen. Allergens are (glyco-)proteins present in these source materials in varying amounts. Therefore, standardization of active substance content is challenging and comparison of different products is impossible as long as international allergen standards and standard test methods are missing. The Allergen Standardization Sub-Committee was founded in 1971 under the auspices of the WHO and IUIS with the goal to fill this gap.
IUIS Veterinary Immunology Committee (VIC) is committed to removing barriers to the global accessibility of veterinary immunological reagents for the advancement of research that benefits both animal and human health. One such barrier is global awareness of the availability of tools and resources that underpin veterinary immunology and expand the choice of biomedical models for translational human immunology. Raising awareness of the Veterinary Immunological Toolbox for wider impact requires outreach and engagement with diverse audiences beyond the veterinary immunology community.
Reserve April 29, 2021 as the day to discuss immunology with everyone you know! Your participation helps an international community of immunologists dedicated to improving health for people around the world. We are happy to assist with advice and/or pedagogic material that you can freely use to create a winning virtual campaign that will reach journalists, schoolteachers, politicians and decision-makers, or to plan face-to-face actions if the health situation in your area allows it.
To contact the IUIS Liaison for the Day of Immunology, Dr Tatyana Chtanova, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day of Immunology Awards
The IUIS and EFIS are awarding 6,000€ every three years, to the four best public relations campaigns covering the Day of Immunology. All National Societies and Regional Federations are eligible to apply!
The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic: how have immunology societies contributed?
IUIS President Faith Osier and the Presidents of 15 other immunological societies* penned a Viewpoint in Nature Reviews Immunology on the “The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic: how have immunology societies contributed?”. In this article they discuss how their various societies and their member contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic global response.
*American Association of Immunologists, Australian & New Zealand Society for Immunology, Belgian Immunological Society, Brazilian Society for Immunology, British Society for Immunology, Canadian Society for Immunology, Chinese Society for Immunology, Cuban Society for Immunology, German Society for Immunology, Isreali Immunological Society, Italian Society of Immunology, Clinical Immunology & Allergology, Japaneses Society for Immunology, Russian Scientific Society of Immunologists, Senegalese Society of Immunology & South African Immunology Society.
Latin American and Caribbean Association of Immunology (ALACI)
ALACI has postponed its meeting to November 1-5, 2021. We would like to gather all IUIS and EFIS Councils and Latin American and Caribbean Immunologists, including those working outside the region. Please, transmit this information to your colleagues.
Oliver Pérez. ALACI´s President.
Brazilian researchers at the front line of the SARS-CoV2-induced inflammation and disease
The excessive inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 is the major cause of severity and death in COVID-19. Therefore, understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the SARS-CoV-2 causes immunopathology is key for developing effective treatments to relieve patients' symptoms and reduce deaths. Members of the Brazilian Society of Immunology have been working on this front and have already provided essential contributions. Read more.
Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology (ASI)
Share Immunology with your family and friends!
The Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology, ASI, launched their ‘Ask an Immunologist’ public outreach initiative. This takes the form of public queries sent in by email as well as live, Q&A online sessions with an expert, during which the public can ask their burning question about the immune system. Questions are typed into the Q&A box in Zoom, moderated by our Chair, and answered by our Speaker live during the session. ASI Online Fireside Chats are provided free of charge to the general non-scientific public. Discover more.
African Scientists Directory
The SADept. of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the International Science Council Regional Office for Africa (ISC ROA) and other partners, invite all African Scientists with Doctoral degrees (and Master’s degrees in engineering/health science) to include their professional details on the African Scientists Directory.
The African Scientists Directory – which was virtually launched on Africa Day (25 May 2020) as part of the DSI Africa Day event – aims to bring together African scientists, connecting all, enhancing collaboration, increasing visibility, and many more. Read more.
Due to the evolving situation related to COVID-19, most events have been canceled or postponed to 2021. Check out theEvent Section on IUIS Website for updated information.
The FOCIS 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting will take place between October 28 - 31, 2020. Find more information here.
Novel Concepts in Innate Immunity will be held on May 26 - 28, 2021 in Tübingen, Germany. Find more information here.
11th African Congress of Immunology will take place from August 1-5, 2021, in Lilongwe, Malawi. Find more information here.
The 6th European Congress of Immunology (ECI) will take place from September 1-4, 2021 in Belgrade, Serbia. Find more information here.
FIMSA 2021 will take place from October 31 - November 3, 2021, in Busan, Korea. Find more information here.
ALACI21 will take place between November 1-5, 2021, in Varadero, Cuba. Find more information here.
IUIS 2022: Save the Date! August 15 - 20, 2022 in Cape Town, Africa. Find more information here.
Immunopaedia – Advancing Global Immunology Education
Immunopaedia.org.za is the official educational provider of pre-course and online IUIS immunology courses, where we have supported courses in south, west, north and east Africa, Latin America, India and Iran. Immunopaedia is open-access and delivers current educational content to provide frameworks of knowledge to IUIS course participants before they embark on face-to-face courses.
Learn with free online courses or by our real-life case studies with immunology explanations and quizzes. Immunopaedia provides daily summaries of the latest research on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 immunology, as well as other immunology topics. Immunopaedia in collaboration with the South African Immunological Society have organised a webinar series on COVID-19.