27-30 September 2016 – Hamburg/Germany
Dear friends and colleagues,
It was our great pleasure to welcome you - more than 1100 participants from academia, research and industry - from Germany and abroad to this year’s annual meeting of the DGfI.
Supported by the DGfI we could present an excellent program with special emphasis on the Hamburg focal topics on infection immunology, autoimmunity and immune tolerance. It was a highlight to present the EFIS lecture award given to Professor Lucy Walker from the UCL, London for her important scientific contribution to the field of checkpoint-inhibition by CTLA-4. Another highlight of the meeting was the lecture of Michel Nussenzweig from New York, who will be the recipient of the Robert-Koch-Award 2016, about the broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV and the prospects of a HIV vaccine.
Emphasis was also put on the local immune response to infection or to antigen delivery to the specialized immune system of distinct organs including lung, liver, gut mucosa and joints. Here local resident cells contribute to eradication of the infectious organism on the one hand and to resolution and immune tolerance on the other hand. Also, fetomaternal immunity was discussed as a special example of immune tolerance which develops towards the ‘semiallogen’ child. Regulatory T cells were the most often cited term in this conference. Their important role in tolerance, e.g. by antigen adminsitration to the liver, and their role different infections, e.g. the exploitation by helminths to achieve a sustained immune suppression and the role in vaccination, was reported. Knowledge on transcriptional and epigenetic control of the development of these regulatory T cells as well as thymic antigen presentation for T cell selection and novel treatment strategies based on balancing immune regulation and homeostasis is fundamental for treatment of autoimmune diseases.
A highlight with respect to T cell immunology was the discovery of a significant role of complement proteins for T helper cell 1 biology. And the recently discovered innate lymphoid cells were a topic in many symposia and workshops about innate immunity.
We hope that you enjoyed the program and the discussions at the 46th Annual Meeting of the DGfI. Even the notorious Hamburg weather was not as bad as it could have been. We wish to thank you all for joining this conference and making it a success.