Ken Beagley is the immediate Past-President of SMI and a Professor of Immunology and Deputy Director at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology. He has worked in the area of mucosal immunology for the past 25 years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Newcastle prior to moving to QUT. Current research interests focus on immunity to sexually transmitted infections, in particular Chlamydia trachomatis. The aim of these studies is to define and differentiate the immune parameters of immune-mediated inflammatory pathology caused by Chlamydia infection from the immune mechanisms that can protect against chlamydial infection and to use this information to develop effective chlamydial vaccines. This work involves the use of both mouse and guinea pig models of chlamydial infection and has recently been extended to include development of a chlamydial vaccine for the koala. In all of these studies novel needle-free vaccination routes such as intranasal, sublingual and transcutaneous immunization, which target immunity to the female and male reproductive tracts are being evaluated alongside conventional injectable methods of immunization. Other research interests include the effects of chlamydial infections on spermatogenesis and ovarian function, the development of novel topical microbicide/spermicide dual action therapeutics and modulation of innate and adaptive immunity by sex hormones.
Jo Viney co-organized the society’s most recent International Congress for Mucosal Immunology (ICMI2013) in Vancouver BC. She is also a member of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) and the British Society for Immunology (BSI). Jo was one of the original Deputy Editors who partnered with Nature Publishing Group to launch the journal, Mucosal Immunology. She stepped down from that role in 2012, but remains an active Associate Editor. Jo is also a member of the Keystone Symposia Scientific Advisory Board, and will be organizing one of the conferences in 2015 on the topic of Tolerance and Autoimmunity. Jo is Vice President of Immunology Research at Biogen Idec. The group’s mission is to develop treatments for underserved immune-mediated diseases in the areas of inflammation, fibrosis and autoimmunity. Research extends from basic target identification and validation through to drug discovery and preclinical development. Jo received her doctorate degree from St Bartholomew’s Hospital at the University of London in 1991. She then completed two postdoctoral fellowships – the first at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, and the second at Genentech in South San Francisco. Following her training, Jo joined Immunex in Seattle in 1995 as a staff scientist. She remained at the company (which was acquired by Amgen in 2002) until leaving to join Biogen Idec in 2011. Jo’s research revolves around understanding the mechanistic basis of immune homeostasis in organs susceptible to inflammatory disease. Her basic research interests have covered investigating tolerogenic antigen presentation in the intestine, new mouse models of colitis, and novel butyrophilin-like (BTNL) inhibitory molecules. Jo and her teams have also delivered multiple NMEs into clinical development for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Tom MacDonald received a PhD in immunology from Glasgow in 1976 and then did a post-doc at the Trudeau Institute in upstate New York. In 1978 he was appointed as an assistant professor at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 1983. In 1984 he left Philadelphia and worked at Merck and Co for a year, before returning to Bart’s Medical College in 1985. In 1986 he was appointed a Wellcome Trust Senior Lecturer at Bart’s (till 1994), was promoted to reader in 1989, and given a personal chair at the University of London in 1991. In 2000 he moved to Southampton medical school to head up the Division of Infection, Inflammation and Repair and then in 2005 he returned to Barts and the London as Professor of Immunology and Dean for Research in the Medical and Dental School. He has over 400 publications, mostly on how inappropriate immune reactions cause disease in the human gut. His H-factor is 76 with almost 21,000 citations. He was awarded FRCPath in 1995 and FMedSci in 2002 on the basis of his published works. Achievements include identifying that T cells cause coeliac disease and Crohn’s disease, the role of TNF-alpha in IBD, with Nestle developing ModulenIBD to treat pediatric Crohn’s disease, and identifying the critical role of Smad7 in chronic inflammation in Crohn’s disease (antagonising Smad 7 in Crohn’s disease is now in phase II). He was a former associate editor of Gut and Gastroenterology and currently is an associate editor of Mucosal Immunology and the IBD journal. He received the Presidents Medal of the British Society of Gastroenterology in 2008 and was President of the Society of Mucosal Immunology from 2009-11. He has served on many grant awarding panels and advisory groups and is currently a member of the review panel of NC3R’s, Action Medical Research, was a past member of Population Science and Medicine board at the UK Medical Research Council (2007-11) and now chairs the MRC non-clinical training panel ( 2012-16).
Dr. Richard S. Blumberg trained in internal medicine (The New York Hospital, 1982), infectious diseases (Massachusetts General Hospital, 1986) and gastroenterology & hepatology (Brigham & Women’s Hospital, 1989). He is currently Senior Physician in Medicine and Gastroenterology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) where he leads the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy, is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-Director of the Harvard Digestive Diseases Center. In addition, Dr. Blumberg serves on the Executive Advisory Committee of the Department of Medicine and is the incoming Chair of the Biomedical Research Institute at BWH. He has served as a member of the Immunology Sciences Study Section of NIAID, a member on the National Commission of Digestive Diseases of the NIDDK, scientific consultant to the Human Microbiome Project (NHGRI), a member of the Vaccine Branch External Advisory Board (NCI), Chair of the External Scientific Consultants for the Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium Initiative (NIDDK) and is currently on the Board of Scientific Councilors (NIAID). He served as the Chair of the National Scientific Advisory Committee of the Crohn’s & Colitis of America (2002-2005) and President of the Society for Mucosal Immunology (2007-2009). Dr. Blumberg is an elected member of the American Association of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians and the recipient of a MERIT Award from the NIH (2005), the William Beaumont Prize from the American Gastroenterological Association (2012) and the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (2012). He is an NIH-funded investigator whose research program focuses on mucosal immunology and was Scientific Founder, Syntonix Pharmaceuticals that developed long-acting therapeutic agents successful in the treatment of chronic diseases.
Dr. Kiyono obtained his dental degree (D.D.S.) from Nihon University, and Ph. D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). His background as a dentist combined with extensive research experience in the field of Mucosal Immunology at UAB, Max-Planck Institute, Osaka University and now, the University of Tokyo make him exceptionally well qualified to be one of the readers for the current and future direction of mucosal immunology and mucosal vaccine. To reflect his scientific contribution, he has been listed in ISI Highly Cited Researchers’ List since 2005. He is the past President of Society for Mucosal Immunology. He received of several prestigious awards including NIH New Investigator Research Award, NIH Research Career Development Award, The Japanese Society for Vaccinology Takahashi Award, and Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Medical Science Award. He has a total of 450 publications in peer review journals and edited a total of 20 books. He is currently Dean, the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo with adjunctive/visiting professorship at UAB, Osaka University, Nihon University and Shinsyu University.
Warren Strober is Chief of the Mucosal Immunity Section in the Laboratory of Host Defenses in NIAID, NIH. He and members of his unit have long been active in many areas of mucosal immunity, including IgA metabolism and IgA B cell differentiation, regulatory T cells and oral tolerance and, most notably, the inflammatory bowel diseases. In the latter arena, he has made major contributions to the identification of the cytokines driving gut inflammation and the identification of possible new therapies based on administration of anti-cytokines. In addition, he has provided key insights into the mechanisms underlying the relation of genetic polymorphisms to increased IBD risk. He is the recipient of several major awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Mucosal Immunology and the William Beaumont Award from the American Gastrointestinal Society. He was one of the founders of the Society for Mucosal Immunology and has served as its President. He is one of the Associate Editors of Mucosal Immunology and Current Protocol in Immunology and serves on many journal editorial boards. Most importantly, he has been a mentor to many of the major investigators working in mucosal immunology and other areas of immunology.
Dr. Elson received his M.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, trained in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital/Cornell, then did his Gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Chicago. After doing full-time research in immunology at N.I.H., he joined the Faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Medical College of Virginia. He moved to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to become Director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and subsequently served as Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine. He holds the Basil I. Hirschowitz Chair in Gastroenterology and is an active consultant in immune-mediated intestinal disorders. The author of numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews, and book chapters, Dr. Elson as held major positions in national organizations, and has served on a number of advisory boards, including the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He has been elected to many professional societies in the field of academic medicine and has a long history of service to the Society for Mucosal Immunology for which he is a co-founder and past president.
Anne Ferguson was one of Britain’s most distinguished gastroenterologists. She studied medicine at Glasgow University, graduating with a first class BSc degree, in addition to gaining honors from the medical school. She was a lecturer in bacteriology and immunology at Glasgow and was awarded a PhD for her research on the role of intra-epithelial lymphocytes in intestinal immunity in 1973. In 1971 she became the Alexander Fletcher lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. In 1975 she was appointed as senior lecturer and honorary consultant physician in the gastrointestinal unit of the University of Edinburgh at the Western General Hospital. In 1979 she was awarded the Sir Francis Avery Jones research medal of the British Society of Gastroenterology, the highest research award that the national gastroenterology body can confer on its researchers. In 1987 the University of Edinburgh awarded her a personal chair in gastroenterology, the first ever professorship in the specialty in Scotland. Her clinical contributions were recognized by her election to the fellowship of all three UK Royal Colleges of Physicians. She was also a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. In 1990 she was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She headed the University department of medicine at the Western General from 1991 to 1994. She served on the Scottish Biomedical Research Committee, the governing board of the Rowett Research Institute, the MAFF Food Sensitivity Advisory Board, the UK Committee on the Safety of Medicines, the coordinating MRC committee for gene therapy and the spongiform encephalopathy committee. She was president of the International Society of Mucosal Immunology from 1996 to1998, the first president of the Society to come from the United Kingdom, and the first person with a strong clinical background.
Brandtzaeg trained in microbiology and immunology at the Medical Center of the University of Alabama at Birmingham before earning his Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Oslo. Until recently he headed the Faculty Division of Rikshospitalet University Hospital, and he is the founder of its Laboratory for Immunohistochemistry and Immunopathology. Brandtzaeg’s research examines the biology and pathology of the mucosal immune system, including the study of mucosal diseases associated with chronic inflammation, allergy, immunodeficiency, and malignant and reactive disorders of mucosal and peripheral lymphoid tissue. Brandtzaeg has been Norway’s most cited researcher over the past two decades and was the first European president of the international Society for Mucosal Immunology.
Martin Kagnoff is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology in the Department of Medicine and a faculty member of the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Kagnoff received his medical training at Harvard Medical School, and subsequent postgraduate training in Gastroenterology and Immunology at Brigham and Women1s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cornell School of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Dr. Kagnoff has received numerous honors and has served as Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the American Journal of Physiology, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Immunology. He directs a major National Institutes of Health sponsored program project grant that investigates the molecular and cellular nature of microbial-mucosal interactions in the intestinal tract. His research program is focused on the role of the intestinal epithelium in host mucosal defense.
Dr. McGhee is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Dr. McGhee is one of the country s foremost experts in mucosal immunology, specializing in mucosal immunity and vaccines, mucosal tolerance and inflammation of mucosal tissues. He is the former director of the Immunobiology Vaccine Center (IVC), whose mission is to foster vaccine research with an emphasis on mucosal vaccine development. His consultation relates to the regulation of mucosal immunity, inflammation, tolerance and vaccine development.
Dr. John Bienenstock is internationally known as a physician and mucosal immunologist. He trained at King’s College, London and Westminster Hospital, London, U.K. He holds the title of Distinguished University Professor at McMaster University, an Honorary MD (Goteborg, Sweden), is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Member of the Order of Canada and was a recent inductee into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. He is the Founding Director of the McMaster Brain-Body Institute at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, a former Chair of Pathology and subsequently Dean and Vice-President of the Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University. He has served as the President of the Canadian Society of Immunology, the Society of Mucosal Immunology and the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum. He has published more than 500 peer reviewed articles and other publications and has an H factor of 72. He has authored, edited and co-edited 8 books on mucosal immunology and allergy. He has supervised some 60 post doctoral fellows and 10 doctoral students. His current main areas of interest are: mechanisms of action of commensal bacteria on the nervous system and behavior and in various models of inflammation.
Jiri Mestecky, M.D., Ph.D., has been involved in studies of mucosal immunity for over 45 years. With his co-workers he determined the stoichiometry of polypeptide chains and their association in human secretory IgA molecules and independently identified and characterized the novel polypeptide J chain of polymeric immunoglobulins. Subsequent studies were focused on the common mucosal immune system and immunization routes, (oral, nasal, rectal) effective in the induction of humoral immune responses in individual compartments of both the human and animal mucosal immune systems. Antibody-producing cells of the major Ig isotypes from various mucosal and systemic tissues, lymphoblastoid cells, and lymphocytes of the B cell lineage were studies with respect to the expression of J chain from the earliest stages of differentiation. The production, transport, distribution, and metabolism of various molecular forms of IgA, particularly the glycan-dependent catabolism, were studied various animal models and human cell lines, and resulted in the identification of receptors and cell types involved. More recent studies concern humoral immune responses in HIV-exposed, -infected or -immunized individuals which demonstrated that in contrast to other mucosal infections, IgA responses to HIV are either absent or surprisingly low. Parallel investigations of the properties of IgA1 molecules and IgA-1-containing immune complexes present in sera and mesangial deposits of patients with the most common glomerulonephritis – IgA nephropathy – revealed the molecular/cellular basis of this disease, specifically the altered glycan structure in the hinge region of IgA1 heavy chains. Dr. Mestecky is Professor of Microbiology and Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Professor of Immunology and Microbiology at the School of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. He holds three honorary doctorate degrees from Denmark, Sweden and the Czech Republic. He was the 1st President of SMI and organizer/co-organizer of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th International Congresses of SMI.