As we prepare for our annual scientific meeting in Hawaii, it is important to recognize the efforts of the organizing committee, chaired by James Turkson (Cedars Sinai Medical Center), to assemble a diverse scientific program with cutting edge research. For many of us, this will be our first in-person scientific meeting since the start of the COVID pandemic and will be an opportunity to reunite with international colleagues. The ability to hold this meeting in parallel with ILC4 and the Interferon lambda community workshop highlights the continued interest in cytokine biology. This is reflected in the overwhelming levels of sponsorship support that have been provided by our partners from biotech, pharma, scientific vendors, and foundations. This sponsorship has allowed the ICIS to provide 100 travel awards for trainees – an unprecedented recognition of the number and quality of abstracts submitted. One of the lessons we have learned over the last two years of the pandemic is that the ability to include a virtual platform provides new opportunities for our colleagues, students, and young investigators to hear the latest advances in cytokine science as well as to present their work. This is an integral part of this year’s meeting, and we hope will allow the ICIS access to more scientists interested in cytokine biology. These travel awards and increased access to the scientific content of the meeting will maintain and strengthen the pipeline of cytokine biologists that are the foundation of the ICIS.
As preparations for the 2022 annual meeting are winding up, the organization of the 2023 meeting in Athens has already started, and the chair of the meeting, Evangelos Andreakos, Ph.D., Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, and Co-Chair, George N. Pavlakis, MD, Ph.D., National Cancer Institute/NIH are already assembling the relevant committees and list of scientific topics. In addition, the ICIS is willing to provide support to our members interested in organizing satellite sessions or workshops associated with other Immunological societies. In 2022 we supported sessions at AAI and FOCIS but are receptive to society members who want to work with other societies to showcase cytokine biology. If you are interested in this concept, please feel free to contact me directly.
Finally, regardless of career stage, is there someone whose work you have admired and think deserves recognition? One of the key goals of the society is to acknowledge the scientific advances in our field and the ICIS tries to identify the most appropriate candidates for the various ICIS awards. There is an immense pool of talented cytokine biologists, but the success of these awards is in large part dependent on the willingness of our members to nominate their colleagues, mentees, and mentors. It isn’t too early to think about nominations for 2023 to show that appreciation and to take the opportunity to highlight their scientific, mentoring, or service contributions. The effort involved is not trivial, but many positives come from this process.
Looking forward to seeing you in person in Hawaii or virtually at Cytokines 2022!