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5th European Congress of Immunology



Welcome from ECI 2018 Congress President

Marieke van Ham
ECI 2018 Congress President

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is with great pleasure that we welcome you on behalf of the Dutch Society of Immunology (NVVI) to the 5th European Congress of Immunology (ECI) in Amsterdam from September 2-5, 2018.

The 5th ECI will cover all fields of modern immunology, ranging from innate memory and tissue specific regulation of T and B cell differentiation to unsupervised analyses of big data for diagnostics and combinational immunomodulatory biologicals.

The special focus of the 5th ECI will be ‘Building Bridges’. The Dutch take pride in being expert bridge builders, physically to live among opulent environmental water, but also figuratively to connect people and facilitate mutual goals. We aim to show you that this pride is not delusional.

In the meeting we will specifically dedicate sessions to identify new discoveries in fundamental immunology that hold diagnostic and therapeutic promise and to tackle challenges that arise from connecting fundamental and translational science.

We will bring in scientists from interdisciplinary fields, like data management, systems biology and multidimensional systems imaging to form beachheads for novel directions of immunological research and optimised evaluations of clinical trials.

Our program will not only enable networking and communication throughout the European immunology community, but also contain a strong outreach section to bridge immunology and the general public. We strive to show that lifestyle, the immune system and health go hand in hand and that insight in immunology directly connects to societal well-being and resilience.

With the 5th ECI we attempt to build an European village of immunology in Amsterdam. Here basic and clinical researchers can dive into immunology, discuss science and form new collaborations without feeling submerged by the size of the meeting. Our program offers 150+ talks by invited speakers, with exemplary keynote lectures and state-of-the field presentations by top of the bill immunologists. The group of invited speakers contains not only established world-leading scientists in basic and translational immunology, but also front-runners in clinical immunomodulatory therapies and up-and-coming scientists, who are changing current immunological concepts through novel scientific approaches. To give ample exposure to exciting new data from the whole immunological society, more than 400 oral presentations will be selected from submitted abstracts.

We aim to have poster sessions and guided poster walks that will allow strong exposure of all research and stimulate discussions and networking. A number of posters will be selected for specific airing and data discussion via electronic poster boards. Special attention will be devoted to the education of our young scientists and students. To this end a bright sparks session for young scientists will be organized. In addition, the 5th ECI will feature a number of satellite meetings dealing with related topics.

The Netherlands has a large immunological society, with strong historic roots. Already during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century), biomedical science was popular. Anatomy lessons were social instructive events and the Surgeons Guild commissioned the 26-year old Rembrandt van Rijn in 1632 for his first major assignment in Amsterdam, the “Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp”. In the same year, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft. His creation of strongly magnifying microscopes boosted scientific understanding of the world of microbes and eukaryotic cells. Over the years, immunology flourished. Geert Reinders (1737-1815) was the first to use vaccination against “Rinderpest” and potentially inspired Edward Jenner, who pioneered the small pox vaccine. One of the first great European immunopathologists, Joghem van Loghem, was born in Amsterdam in 1914. The first blood bank in continental Europe was organized 1940 in The Hague, birth place to one of the founders of Eurotransplant and discoverer of HLA antigens Jon van Rood.

Today, Amsterdam still contains many institutes where research in immunology thrives. Yet, Amsterdam is more and while you are here, you may have a change to discover its many faces. Amsterdam, the city of canals (165) and bridges (1281), enchants with its old canal houses, small streets and vivid markets. Over the centuries Amsterdam has been a place of refuge for many people from different cultural and religious backgrounds. Immigration and integration have always created platforms for new cultural and scientific developments. Having recognised that, tolerance also has a longstanding tradition in Amsterdam. Nowadays, Amsterdam is home to people of 180 nationalities, a true melting pot of nations with cosmopolitan flair. There are more bicycles than people in Amsterdam and cycling in Amsterdam is a way of life. So when you visit us in Amsterdam, join the locals and hop on a bike. Explore the famous Jordaan, a former working class area, with its narrow streets, picturesque canals, brown cafes, art galleries and unique shops. Visit one of the many museums Amsterdam has to offer, the great Rijksmuseum or the modern Stedelijk Museum. Go for a concert to the historic Concertgebouw, the modern Muziekgebouw or concert halls like Paradiso and de Melkweg. And finally, do not forget to stroll along the many waterfronts, relax in the Vondelpark or lounge on one of our rooftop terraces.

Much of Amsterdam is about enjoying the atmosphere.We will do our best to make the 5th ECI a most memorable scientific, social and cultural event for you. We very much look forward to hosting you in Amsterdam in September 2018!

Marieke van Ham, ECI 2018 Congress President

Welcome from the EFIS President

Renè van Lier
EFIS President

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As President of the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS), it is my pleasure to extend this invitation to you to join us in Amsterdam in September 2018 at the Fifth European Congress of Immunology (ECI 2018).

Held every three years and regularly attracting over 3000 delegates, the ECI is now regarded as a premier venue on the international immunology calendar. The most recent ECI 2015 in Vienna was telling example of the success that the congress now enjoys. And ECI 2018 in Amsterdam promises to continue this tradition by staging a truly memorable scientific event for all attending. EFIS, together with our local host, the Dutch Society for Immunology, will work to ensure a stimulating three and one-half days during which participants – young and not so young, alike – will have the opportunity to interactively explore the most recent advances in the fields of innate immunity, adaptive immunity, diseases of the immune system and immune interventions. And whether you have a broad-ranging interest in the multiple facets of modern immunological research, or your focus lies in a particular niche, you will surely come away from ECI 2018 satisfied by the fine balance between basic and applied/translational research contributions that the organizers intend to assemble.

ECI 2018 will also continue the tradition that is central to one of EFIS’ missions, namely, to foster the participation and recognition of Europe’s next generation of immunologists at major immunology-themed meetings. And at ECI 2018 early-career scientists will certainly have the chance to take center stage on numerous occasions. To stimulate the participation of as many junior investigators as possible, EFIS will be offering what promises to be an unprecedented number of generous travel grants. Our young colleagues should also recall that the ACTERIA Doctoral and Early Career Research Prizes awarded by EFIS will be presented for the third time at ECI 2018, and that EFIS will again acknowledge the work of a prominent European female research group leader with the fourth EFIS-EJI Ita Askonas Prize.

Inspired by one of Amsterdam’s most characteristic features, our colleagues of the Dutch Society for Immunology have aptly given ECI 2018 the theme of “Building Bridges”. And, indeed, it is their and our pledge to provide a setting that allows building as many bridges as possible between basic, translational and clinical science, among younger researchers and established immunologists, and, above all, throughout the European immunology community.

ECI 2018 is beginning to take shape and is committed to respecting its predecessors as “the” showcase for the talents of the European immunology. I warmly encourage you to mark your calendars and to join us in Amsterdam to help make ECI 2018 a resounding and rewarding success.

René van Lier, President, EFIS

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