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The science and practice of human immunology

The science and practice of human immunology
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Letter From the President

Dear Colleagues:

Summer has sped by and we have entered autumn, with the end of the year not too far away.  The past two months brought calamities to several parts of the US, Caribbean and Mexico, in the form of hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and Maria) and earthquakes, creating significant loss of life and/or property, experienced by many individuals, including our colleagues and patients. As a Society, we stand in solidarity with our colleagues who were adversely affected, and reiterate our offer of support.

In the six months since our annual meeting, the CIS leadership remained committed to and focused on our central mission, and in this regard, we have worked with many of you to develop new initiatives, while resuscitating and/or revitalizing several existing activities. We met for our annual Leadership Retreat at the end of July to discuss the direction and future of CIS, and our upcoming 2018 Annual Meeting in Toronto. There are several developments that I am excited and eager to share with you.

As you may notice, one very obvious change over the last few months has been the introduction of the new CIS logo. This unveiling precedes our updated website, which will be public in the coming weeks. The CIS Leadership is pleased to introduce a more user-friendly platform to communicate our mission, values, and initiatives as a Society.

DLI Committee Genetic Testing Survey

The DLI Committee is deeply grateful to all members who participated in the DLI Survey. Your responses were essential and extremely helpful in providing the committee substantive direction as we continue to develop educational offerings relevant to our membership. The results of the survey provided the impetus to request a partnership with the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) to offer educational modules, and other collaborative activities that would improve knowledge and access of our members to genetics/genomics tools and information. This is an area that will continue to be developed over the course of the next several months. We will keep you updated on these activities via our website, newsletters, and these messages.

Advocacy Committee

On behalf of the membership, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Jennifer Heimall for her leadership of the Advocacy Committee, particularly her efforts in spearheading the completion and submission of the genetic testing white paper. She, along with several members of the Advocacy Committee, and other CIS members have worked tirelessly on this paper, which will hopefully be published in the next few months in the Journal of Clinical Immunology, and provide a resource to facilitate access to genetic testing for our patients.

CIS-AAAAI Diagnostic Primary Immunodeficiency School

We are pleased to announce that CIS will host a Diagnostic PID School/Workshop as a new initiative, in partnership with AAAAI. The School will be held from June 28-July 1, 2018 in Cincinnati, OH. The primary objective of the Diagnostic School is to offer a group (limited by logistic and financial constraints to 30 individuals) of CIS members, physicians and scientists, at various levels of training and/or work experience, the opportunity to participate in an intensive visual, hands-on and didactic experience in diagnostic and clinical immunology. This program intends to provide a foundation in diagnostic immunology, which will allow participants to not only improve their own knowledge and understanding of these diverse areas, but also enable them to serve as local and national resources for broader dissemination of this information. The core faculty identified for the Diagnostic School are working to develop the curriculum, and details of the application process and the School will be provided to the membership before the end of the year so that interested members may apply.

Other partnerships

In addition to the partnerships I mentioned above with ACMG and AAAAI, CIS continues to seek and build new partnerships with other professional societies. We have nurtured our partnership with Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists (AMLI) over the past three years, and with whom we are organizing the 2018 pre-conference meeting on Diagnostic Updates in Primary Immunodeficiencies (April 26, 2018, Toronto), which has become a biennial activity. Along with AMLI, we are also developing a partnership with International Clinical Cytometry Society (ICCS), which will allow us to develop consensus guidelines related to diagnostic immunology flow cytometry testing. The DLI Committee has been granted a liaison to the Diagnostic Immunology Resource Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), which provides CIS a forum to educate, and articulate concerns about some of our unique diagnostic issues to regulatory and oversight agencies.  We are also working with the American Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (ASPHO) on the creation of a Clinical Immunology Special Interest Group. I would encourage each of you to take advantage of these partnerships as you deem appropriate for your needs.

FILL Project (Following Infants with Low Lymphocytes) and Newborn Screening for SCID

As I indicated in my previous message, CIS has partnered with USIDNET, with the financial support of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation for Primary Immunodeficiencies, to create the FILL database, and developed an online tool to capture clinical and laboratory information on infants who are identified with positive results from newborn screening for SCID. I would strongly encourage and urge you to please consider submitting your relevant cases to the FILL database, so we can gather national data, which will be essential for us to understand these conditions, and their natural history better, and will improve patient management. Please contact Tara Caulder at the USIDNET for more information on the FILL database, if you would like to enroll your patients.

WCIS Committee

Drs. Victoria Dimitriades and Alexandra Freeman, who initiated and organized the Women in Clinical Immunology Sciences (WCIS) Committee, have prepared a survey for the membership that was sent recently to each of you.  I would request you to please take a few minutes of your time (it takes no more than 5-10 minutes) to complete this survey so that the WCIS Committee would be able to obtain the necessary information to develop programs, and provide support to our members, which would increase the value of your membership, and your participation in the Society. Reminders will be sent, so please watch your inbox.

Annual Meeting 2018

As you may have seen on our website, our Annual Meeting will be held from April 26-29, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The Program Committee has worked hard to organize an excellent meeting with outstanding speakers. Details of the program are available on the CIS website. Abstract submission has opened, as you may have noted in your email inbox, and I would request each of you to keep the deadlines in mind, and submit abstracts so that we have a lively, informative, relevant and interactive meeting. As in previous years, we will select the best abstracts for oral presentations, and lightning guided posters, in addition to regular poster presentations. Please keep a close eye on your inbox for further information and reminders about the Annual Meeting. I look forward to seeing all of you at the meeting in Toronto.

In closing, I would like to thank each of you for taking the time to renew your membership, and for continuing to actively engage in the Society. I am humbled by the support and commitment so many of you have offered and demonstrated in these past few months. Thank you for helping sustain and develop the mission of CIS.  

“The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.”  - Rensis Likert


Roshini S. Abraham, PhD
CIS President