Webinar Series: Immunology without Borders

The IUIS Webinar Series was established at the beginning of 2020 as an online education programme with the aim to provide individuals from all around the world the opportunity to gain comprehensive knowledge on the latest COVID-19 research developments without the need of travelling in these uncertain times. This first series was a tremendous success:
internationally-acclaimed speakers shared their insights and latest research results on COVID-19-related topics in 20 webinars that welcomed more than 8,800 scientists from 86 countries.
For its second series, IUIS, in partnership with Immunopaedia, will broaden the scope to cover a variety of hot topics in
immunological research such as Autoimmunity, Infectious Diseases and Allergology.

Upcoming Webinars

Date: 26. July 2021
Time: 15:00 CEST

Despite 40 years of research the HIV epidemic remains a significant global health challenge and an HIV vaccine is still elusive. The recent results from the AMP trial have shown that a broadly neutralizing antibody can provide protection from infection. This has important implications for the pipeline of HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies being developed for prevention as well as vaccines that aim to elicit protective antibodies. This webinar will discuss the role of antibodies in both passive and active vaccination approaches.

Presenter: Lynn Morris

Lynn Morris is a principal medical scientist at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is also a Research Professor and Director of the Antibody Immunity Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand. Over the last 20 years Lynn has made significant contributions to understanding the antibody response to HIV infection and co-discovered the CAP256-VRC26.25 monoclonal antibody that is undergoing clinical testing for HIV prevention. Her laboratory performs neutralizing antibody assays for HIV vaccine trials and played a key role in the proof-of-concept Antibody Mediated Prevention (AMP) trial.

Moderator: Guido Ferrari

Guido Ferrari MD is Professor of Surgery at Duke University and in the Department Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. He is also affiliated faculty at the Duke Global Health Institute, Duke Human Vaccine Institute, and Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town Department of Immunology. Since 1995 Dr. Ferrari has been evaluating vaccine-induced cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) and antibody dependent cellular cytotoxic (ADCC) responses for the development of AIDS vaccines. Dr. Ferrari has also been the Director of the Centerf for AIDS Research Immunology Core and of ADCC core laboratory for the Primate AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Group (PAVEG). He was the first to characterize vaccine-induced cross-clade clade CD8 CTL responses and the difference in class I-restricted epitope recognition between individuals with HIV-1 infection and vaccine recipients. He followed this initial epitope mapping of cellular responses with epitope mapping of ADCC responses to identify the anti-C1C2 epitope as the most recognized epitope by ADCC Ab responses in people living with HIV and vaccine recipients. individuals with HIV.

On demand Webinars

Please find below the on demand Webinars from the IUIS Webinar Series “Immunology without Borders”. This Series was started in February of 2021 and includes a wide arrays of topics.

Andrea Cossarizza: Immunopathology of COVID-19: lessons from pregnancy and from ageing

In this webinar, the most recent immunological advances in the fight to SARS-CoV-2 will be presented, embracing both clinical cases relating to persons with a different outcome of the infection, including those who typically experience a mild or a severe infection (such as pregnant women or elderly subjects, respectively), and the detailed responses to different types of therapies and vaccines.

This webinar was supported by: Fluidigm

The production of this webinar is supported by Fluidigm. Fluidigm has had no influence on the content, and full editorial control remains the sole responsibility of IUIS.

At Fluidigm, we empower our customers to reveal meaningful insights in health and disease, identify actionable markers to inform life decisions and accelerate the development of more effective therapies. We focus on the most pressing needs in translational and clinical research, including cancer, immunology and immunotherapy. Harnessing proprietary CyTOF® and microfluidics capabilities, we provide an unprecedented view into health and disease through our unique combination of innovative mass cytometry, tissue imaging and genomics solutions. As a trusted partner of leading academic, government, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and plant and animal research laboratories worldwide, we strive to increase the quality of life for all.

Anita McElray: Mapping human immune responses to Ebola virus infection provides insight into viral pathogenesis

This webinar will describe the cellular immune landscape that occurs following Ebola virus infection and will correlate these findings with key features of Ebola virus disease. Attendees will learn about Ebola virus induced T cell activation, B cell expansion and monocyte redistribution as well as alterations in dendritic cells that could be clues as to why Ebola virus disease is so severe.

This webinar was supported by: Fluidigm

The production of this webinar is supported by Fluidigm. Fluidigm has had no influence on the content, and full editorial control remains the sole responsibility of IUIS.

At Fluidigm, we empower our customers to reveal meaningful insights in health and disease, identify actionable markers to inform life decisions and accelerate the development of more effective therapies. We focus on the most pressing needs in translational and clinical research, including cancer, immunology and immunotherapy. Harnessing proprietary CyTOF® and microfluidics capabilities, we provide an unprecedented view into health and disease through our unique combination of innovative mass cytometry, tissue imaging and genomics solutions. As a trusted partner of leading academic, government, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and plant and animal research laboratories worldwide, we strive to increase the quality of life for all.

Fabrizio De Benedetti: Hyperinflammation: hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and macrophage activation syndrome

The webinar will cover clinical presentations and laboratory features of hyper-inflammation with a focus on hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). Pathogenic mechanisms and the involvement of cytokine networks in different forms of hyper-inflammation will be discussed. The webinar will also cover conventional therapeutic approaches, as well as novel targeted therapies

Claudia Mauri: Regulatory B cells and gut-microbiota: an intricate acting balance in autoimmunity

Regulatory B cells (Bregs) are immunosuppressive cells that contribute to the maintenance of immunological tolerance (Mauri and Bosma, 2012). Bregs suppress a variety of immune pathologies including autoimmune diseases through the produc- tion of interleukin (IL)-10, IL-35, and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFb1) (Mauri and Bosma, 2012). They inhibit the expan- sion of pathogenic T cells and other pro-inflammatory lymphocytes, and promote regulatory T cell (Treg) differentiation (Carter et al., 2011; Rosser et al., 2014). Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, including lipopolysaccharide (TLR4) and CpG oligo-deoxynucleotides (TLR9), in combination with low grade levels of inflammatory cytokines, for example IFNa and/or IL-1b and IL-6, induce IL-10-producing Breg differentiation (Lampropoulou et al., 2008; Menon et al., 2016; Rosser et al., 2014). The strength of these inflammatory signals is key in determining whether immature B cells develop into Bregs or into mature B cells and antibody-producing plasma cells (Menon et al., 2016). We have recently shown that low-grade inflammatory sig- nals that drive the differentiation of immature B cells into Bregs are provided in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) as a result of the interaction between the gut microbiota and the innate immune system (Rosser et al., 2014). Mice depleted of endogenous bacteria following administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics do not develop arthritis or Bregs, suggesting an intricate relationship between microbiota, inflammation, and Breg differentiation (Rosser et al., 2014). The question of whether inflammatory signals produced in response to the microbiota control Breg development alone or whether microbial factors also play a direct role remains unanswered. We will discuss how  butyrate supplementation suppresses arthritis in a Breg-dependent manner by increasing the level of the serotonin-derived metabolite 5-Hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid (5-HIAA), which activates the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a newly discovered transcriptional marker for Breg function.  

Qian Zhang: Inborn errors of type I IFN immunity in patients with life-threatening COVID-19

Clinical outcome upon infection with SARS-CoV-2 ranges from silent infection to lethal COVID-19. We identified autosomal-recessive or autosomal-dominant deficiencies of genes in the type I IFN circuit in 23 patients (3.5%) 17 to 77 years of age. We showed that inborn errors of TLR3- and IRF7- dependent type I IFN immunity can underlie life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia in patients with no prior severe infection.

Antonio Lanzavecchia: Immunology taught by Plasmodium falciparum

Plasmodium falciparum uses multiple strategies to evade the human immune response. While infection is established by a small number of sporozoites that are largely ignored by the immune system, the abundant blood stage parasites use multiple and polymorphic variant surface antigens to avoid clearance and subvert the immune response. From volunteers immunized with irradiated sporozoites, we identified a family of potent neutralizing antibodies that bind to multiple sites of the CSP protein and represent a new tool for prophylaxis and for vaccine design. Using a systematic search for antibodies that bind broadly to infected erythrocytes, we discovered, in 10% of malaria-exposed individuals, a new class of antibodies generated by insertions of genomic DNA encoding human inhibitory receptors (LAIR1 or LILRB1) into antibody genes (at the V-DJ junction or in the switch region). LAIR1- and LILRB1-containing antibodies bind to different families of parasite RIFINs and opsonize infected erythrocytes. These findings demonstrate that the parasite uses multiple RIFINs to target inhibitory receptors as part of its evasion strategy. They also illustrate a new mechanism of diversification based on the insertion of host receptors into immunoglobulin genes, leading to the production of receptor-based antibodies, with implications for antibody and B cell engineering.

Eric Vivier: Harnessing innate immunity in cancer therapy and beyond

New therapies that promote antitumor immunity have been recently developed. Most of these immunomodulatory approaches have focused on enhancing T-cell responses. Although these therapies have led to unprecedented successes, only a minority of cancer patients benefit from them, highlighting the need to identify new cells and molecules that could be exploited in the next generation of immunotherapy. Given the crucial role of innate immune responses in immunity, harnessing these responses opens up new possibilities for long-lasting, multilayered tumor control. We will present innovative anti-tumor therapies based on the manipulation of the innate immune system. In addition, given the urgent need for effective treatments for pneumonia in patients with COVID-19, the elucidation of the immune responses that occur during the course of COVID-19 could lead to the repurposing of approved immunomodulatory drugs and candidate drugs that have already been tested in clinical trials. Along this line, we will present our results indicating the association of COVID-19 inflammation with activation of the C5a–C5aR1 axis. 

Pamela Ohashi: Immunoregulation and the tumor microenvironment

Although PD-1 blockade has transformed cancer treatment, a deeper understanding of tumor immunobiology and inhibitory mechanisms are needed to take immunotherapy to the next level. This webinar will cover topics including the cell types that express key B7 family members and their receptors including PD-L1, B7-H3, B7-H4 and PD-1 and discuss whether these findings align with the traditional views for what is going on in the tumor microenvironment. In addition, it will cover unexpected immunoregulatory mechanisms that we have found focussing on innate lymphoid cells. 

This webinar is supported by: Thermo Fisher Scientific

The production of this webinar is supported by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Thermo Fisher Scientific has had no influence on the content, and full editorial control remains the sole responsibility of IUIS.

Thermo Fisher Scientific understands your samples are precious in immunology research. Our products and technologies support your wise use of samples to get qualitative and quantitative measurements when evaluating experiments. Our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer.