Head of Education Committee: Dr Helen Chapel, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
We aim to encourage young people's interest in science in general and specifically in research in primary immunodeficiencies. This includes working with undergraduates and medical students locally as well as fostering post-graduate students. In order to encourage such students, the consortium meetings include teaching sessions and these meetings are open to the institution at which the meeting is held to aid in scientific education. In addition, there is an exchange of information at the meetings targeted at all individuals employed within the EU project speakers.
The Inaugural Consortium meeting was held in London in September 2008. This meeting of partners and fellows was addressed by Prof Charlotte Cunningham-Rundles (Mount Sinai, NYC) on the topic central to the project, namely Common Variable Immunodeficiency Disorders. A lively discussion followed.
At the midpoint meeting, international speakers were asked to address some relevant and complex topics related to the project in order to broaden the Consortium's horizon. This Consortium meeting in Rome, April 2009, was addressed by Prof. A. Lanzavecchia (Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Switzerland) who spoke about understanding and making use of B cell memory.
The afternoon session was dedicated to junior scientists presenting their current work on the EURO-PADnet projects. The session also focussed on the discussion of difficulties that may have come up and possible approaches to their solution. Every talk was evaluated by the Principal Investigators on an evaluation sheet, which was later on handed over to the presenters in order to provide some helpful feedback and the possibility to further discuss the PI's comments after the meeting.
The Consortium meeting in Berlin in September 2009 took place alongside the European Congress of Immunology, which was preceeded by the Educational Day for that meeting. Partners and their co-workers had the opportunity to attend this session as well as the very valuable ECI conference itself.
Junior Session during the EURO-PADnet consortium meeting in Rome, April 2009
Guest Lecture: Prof. A. Lanzavecchia, Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Switzerland:
The understanding and making use of B cell memory.
Eleonora Gambineri (Florence) opened the afternoon Junior Session by speaking about her experience from her time as head of the ESID Junior Working Party.
Afternoon session: Junior EURO-PADnet scientists:
· B cell proliferation (Introduction: Rita Carsetti)
- Almut Meyer-Bahlburg (MHH): Evidence for positive selection within late transitional B cells.
· B cell differentiation (Introduction: Hermann Eibel)
- Katharina Schuetz (UKL-FR): IgM responses to pneumococcal vaccine.
- Marcella Visentini (Sapienza): The CD21low B cells expanded in CVID are senescent cells that fail to differenciate to antibody producing cells.
- Astrid Bergbreiter (UKL-FR): Functional Analysis of TACI mutations in vitro.
· B cell class switch (Introduction: Anne Durandy)
- Gabriela Lopez-Herrera (UCL) In vitro CSR, limitation of efficacy.
- Alaitz Aranburu (OPBG) CpG induces somatic mutations and VH family selection.
- Simona Ferrari (Bologna) TNFRSF13B genetic analysis in Common Variable Immunodeficiency and IgA Deficit.