2022 Annual Report – Federation of Immunological Societies of Asia-Oceania (FIMSA)
A new FIMSA council was elected in November-2021 for the term 2021-2024 and Chinese Society for Immunology (CSI) continued to serve as the FIMSA Secretariat. During the year of 2022, four FIMSA Council Meetings and 2022 FIMSA Advanced Immunology Course were held virtually.
1. 2022 First Virtual FIMSA Council Meeting:
The First meeting of the newly elected FIMSA Council was held virtually on 23 March 2022 under the Chairmanship of Prof Sunil K. Arora, President of FIMSA and Co-chair Prof. Bo Huang, FIMSA Secretary General. The meeting was attended by Prof. Laura Mackay (Past-president of FIMSA); Prof. Osamu Takeuchi (Vice-President of FIMSA) and FIMSA councilors: Dr. Liwei Lu, Dr. Tanapat Palaga, Dr. Nicholas Gascoigne, Dr. Shie-Liang Hsieh, Dr. Yuzhang Wu, Dr. Kazuyo Moro, Dr. Di Yu, Dr. Young-Min Hyun and Dr. Dhanushka Dasanayake. The meeting was co-hosted by Dr. Zhubo Chen and Dr. Jie Yao from FIMSA-secretariat.
After introduction of members of the new council, the meeting discussed the future FIMSA courses and meetings. Prof Liwei Lu from the Hong Kong Society for Immunology came forward and offered to conduct the FIMSA Immunology Course-2022. The Japanese Society for Immunology agreed to host FIMSA Immunology course in 2023 in Chiba and Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology suggested to host the course in 2024.
For the International Day of Immunology, Dr Sunil Arora suggested the idea of celebrating the Day of Immunology under FIMSA flagship, to introduce immunology and FIMSA to the general public especially the school and college students. Dr. Laura Mackay supported the idea and suggested to make a good use of the social media to reach out to increase the FIMSA presence. Dr. Shie-Liang Hsieh also supported the idea and suggested one day conference and to make video records for the website. Dr. Tanapat Palaga suggested the form of videos for the public should be short and easy for the public to grasp. Dr. Di Yu suggested FIMSA members to create social media account. Dr. Bo Huang suggested FIMSA society members write short articles/stories to introduce immunology under the FIMSA flag. Dr. Kazuyo Moro pointed out that there is a concern that simply publishing videos on social media will not increase the number of viewers due to language differences, and suggested that PR such as showing videos at annual meetings held in various countries may be necessary to make young researchers aware of FIMSA’s activities.
2. 2022 Second Virtual FIMSA Council Meeting
The Second FIMSA Council Meeting was held on 20 June 2022 virtually. Dr. Sunil Arora introduced the main agenda of the meeting: The Biennial Congress of Iranian Society of Immunology will be held hybrid in May 2023, and the Iranian Society sent a request to FIMSA for funding. The FIMSA Council meeting was called to discuss if it is appropriate to support national societies’ congresses, as it has not been a tradition. Most council members agreed FIMSA may provide scientific support to member society’ congress, but expressed different opinions on the financial support. In summary, FIMSA would like to support scientifically to Iran society for their national congress, but not financially. However, the FIMSA council may fund any FIMSA related activity if conducted along with member society meetings.
3. 2022 FIMSA Advanced Immunology Course:
Hong Kong Society for Immunology (HKSI) and The Federation of Immunological Societies of Asia-Oceania (FIMSA) jointly held the FIMSA Advanced Immunology Course (Virtual) in 19-20 August 2022. Prof. Kathy Lui from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Prof. Liwei Lu from The University of Hong Kong served as the Directors of the course.
27 renowned scientists from 22 institutions of 8 countries/regions delivered inspiring lectures on various research fields. In this course, there are 419 participants registered including participants, speakers and chairpersons. The registrants are from 16 countries and districts, including Hong Kong (125), Korea (110), mainland China (121), Iran (18), India (18), Japan (12), Sri Lanka (1) USA (3), Australia (3), Spain (1), Portugal (1), Taipei (1), Canada (1), Singapore (1), United Kingdom (1), and German (1).
4. 2022 Third Virtual FIMSA Council Meeting:
The 2022 third FIMSA council meeting was held on 31 August 2022 virtually. The meeting reconfirmed that Japanese Society would hold the 2023 FIMSA advanced course, Taiwan Society would conduct the 9th FIMSA Congress in 2024 and Australian Society proposed to organize the FIMSA advanced course in 2025 or 2026.
The main topic of the meeting began with a proposal from Dr. Sunil Arora. Earlier this month he announced via email that the 49th annual congress of Indian Immunology Society would be held on 24-26 November 2022, and suggested to hold a FIMSA sponsored one-day symposium on stem cell transplantation during the meeting. As to response the proposal, this council meeting was called to discuss details of the FIMSA budget and funding policy to support FIMSA joint activities conducted by national societies. After fruitful discussions Dr. Sunil proposed to constitute a “FIMSA Education Committee” on the lines of “IUIS Education committee” which would be responsible to plan such activities and make recommendations to FIMSA council for approval. The education committee comprising Prof Laura Mackay (Chairperson), Dr Amit Awasthi (Member-Secretary), Prof Dhanushka Dasanayke (Member) and Prof Osamu Takeuchi (Member) was asked to discuss the issues as proposed in this council meeting and suggest a roadmap of FIMSA education activities in the coming time.
5. 2022 Fourth Virtual FIMSA Council Meeting:
The fourth meeting of FIMSA council was held online under the chairmanship of FIMSA President Prof. Sunil Arora on 1st November 2022 to deliberate mainly on the issue of FIMSA travel fellowships for IUIS 2023 congress. Prof Arora apprised the members regarding non-utilization of IUIS funds for the last two years (2020 & 2021) due to no physical activity due to COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Kiyoshi revealed that FIMSA has $30,000 as unutilized money for use in IUIS activities. So all the members gave suggestions and discussed various modalities and finally decoded to increase the number of travel fellowships to 20 with each fellowship of $1500. It was also decided to restrict these travel fellowships to PhD students and Post-doc fellows. This will give opportunity to a greater number of young scientists to attend the IUIS congress. It has been decided that the FIMSA council will invite shortlisted applications from each member country through it’s council member and finally the selection of 20 names will be made by the end of 2022 based on an objective criteria to be finalized among members. The IUISs will be informed accordingly.