Meetings in Immunology
by Ramit Mehr
Members of the SMB apply their mathematical and computational skills in many areas of biology. For many of us, attendance of meetings of experimental biologists in our respective fields is highly informative, and in my opinion students and young researchers in mathematical and computational biology should be encouraged to attend such meetings. I would like to ask SMB members who are involved with various areas of biology to supply - for the benefit of all members - information about regular meetings in their respective areas of research, as this information is not covered by our lists of "theoretical" meetings. As an example, here is a list of regular meetings in immunology, which I find very helpful.
Congresses: these tend to be large (thousands of participants) and cover many topics; the choice is sometimes overwhelming. However, if one focuses on the topics most relevant to one's research, these meetings may be very useful as much knowledge is accessible in a very concentrated form. In immunology, these include:
Once you go to a key meeting in your field, you'll find that in that meeting, the other meetings are advertised and it's easy to stay informed. Safe travel to everyone!
- The International Congress of Immunology organized by IUIS (Int'l Union of Immunological Societies). I just returned from ICI2001, which took place in Stockholm. These congresses are organized every three years - the next one will be in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in July 2004. See www.nrc.ca/confserv/immuno2004 for more details.
- Similarly, the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) organizes a large congress every three years. The next one will be in Rhodes Island, Greece, 8-12 June 2003.
- Keystone symposia (www.symposia.com) - a series of various conferences held in the Southwestern US every winter/spring in various ski sites - include a variety of meetings on immunological topics. I went to several of them, mostly those devoted to B lymphocyte immunobiology and disease, which took place every two years. These meetings tend to be smaller than the big congresses (only a few hundred participants) and focused on specific topics, which enables more depth and more interaction between participants.
- There are also the Gordon Conferences (www.grc.org), among which there are sometimes immunological meetings; however GRC topics include all natural sciences, and hence the diversity of immunological meetings is not as large as in the Keystone Symposia. (I personally have not been to a GRC other than the math biology one.)
- A series I recently heard about but haven't "tried" - on lymphatic tissues and germinal centers (www.14gcc.rug.nl) - details on the next meeting will appear on the website soon.