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Webinar Series

A New, Free Educational Resource


SMI is pleased to present the 2020 Webinar Series, a series designed with broad scientific program incorporating the latest ideas and concepts of immunity at mucosal surfaces, lending heavily from the program initially created for the MICS 2020 Course & Symposium. We thank the MICS 2020 Organizing Committee for their time, expertise and dedication in compiling this program. 

MICS 2020 Organizing Committee

Sean Colgan, PhD, University of Colorado, Co-Chair
Ed Janoff, MD, University of Colorado, Co-Chair
Kristine Kuhn, MD, PhD, University of Colorado, Co-Chair
Glenn Furuta, MD, Children’s Hospital Colorado
William Janssen, MD, National Jewish Health
Laurel Lenz, PhD, University of Colorado
Cara Wilson, MD, University of Colorado

How To View

All webinars are presented live to registered participants. Once the webinar is completed, it will be available for 48 hours on the SMI website.

After 48 hours have passed, each webinar will be moved into the archive, which is available to SMI members for continual viewing.


Registration for all webinars is free to both SMI members and non-members. Select webinars will only be available to SMI members for registration and viewing, and will be clearly indicated as member benefit webinars in the posted schedule.

Registration is required to receive the live streaming link for all webinars.

Schedule of Webinars

July 14, 2020 - Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD

July 14, 2020

Molecular and Cellular Dissection of the New Food Allergy Disease Eosinophilic Esophagitis
Dr. Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD
2:00pm CDT 
Watch in Our Members Video Archive 


Since the original description of eosinophils, clinicians and scientists have been struck by the number of disease associated with selective eosinophilia, in the blood and/or tissues. Over the past several decades, I have had the privilege of helping to elucidate the mechanisms that explain eosinophilia, which in turn has contributed to a new class of drugs, referred to as anti-eosinophil therapy. This has provided a gratifying opportunity to better treat patients and a scientific means to define the role of this enigmatic cell in a variety of diseases, starting with diseases thought to be primary eosinophilic diseases, such as eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Herein, I will review pathways involved in regulating eosinophilia starting with the initial description of eosinophilopoeitins with a focus on eosinophil survival factors and their importance in human diseases. Molecular cloning and characterization of the eotaxins will be reviewed and a mechanism for cytokine regulation of eosinophilia will be presented. There will be a focus on the prototypic tissue eosinophilic disease, EoE, concentrating on the molecular, genetic, and cellular bases of disease pathogenesis, and their implications for emerging therapeutics and diagnostics. The genetic and environmental factors that contribute to risk for EoE—particularly early-life events will be discussed. A key role for epithelial inflammatory pathways (production of eotaxin-3 [encoded by CCL26]), impaired barrier function mediated by loss of desmoglein-1 and anti-protease surveillance mechanisms will be presented. Breakthroughs in understanding disease susceptibility with a focus on genome wide association studies and whole exome sequencing data will be presented. Genetic susceptibility involving common variants at 5q22 (TSLP) and 2p23 (CAPN14), gene-gene interactions (between atopy genes and EoE specific genes), and gene-environment interactions will be presented. A mechanistic explanation for the tissue specific eosinophilia seen in EoE will be iterated. I will leave the message that substantial progress has been made in elucidating the molecular and genetic regulation of eosinophilia, providing opportunities for better treating eosinophilic disorders, and better understanding the function of this enigmatic cell in a variety of diseases.


1. Understand the basic properties and regulation of eosinophils

2. Understand the pathogenesis of eosinophilic diseases, focused on the prototypic disease eosinophilic esophagitis

3. Understanding the current and emerging precision medicines that targets eosinophils



Dr. Rothenberg is director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology and the Bunning Professor of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center within the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He graduated summa cum laude with highest honors in chemistry and biochemistry from Brandeis University then completed the MD/PhD program at Harvard Medical School under Dr. Frank Austen, conducting studies on eosinophil hematopoiesis, as he developed the first culture system for human eosinophils. He completed residency and an allergy/immunology/hematology fellowship at Children’s Hospital, Boston. His post-doctorate training was with Dr. Philip Leder, Harvard Medical School, where he cloned the eotaxin chemokine. At CCHMC, he has helped build a top program in research, and his division is a leader in allergy/immunology. His research is focused on molecular analysis of allergic inflammation, the pathogenesis of eosinophilia. Dr. Rothenberg’s awards include the 2007 E Mead Johnson Award from Society of Pediatric Research, elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is recognized by Clarivate as a top 1% Highly Cited Researcher. He has served as reviewer for journals/grant agencies including NIH and served for four years on the Advisory Council of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

August 11, 2020 - Laurel L. Lenz, PhD

August 11, 2020

Regulatory Natural Killer Cell Responses Shape the Outcome of Co-Infection by Lung and Gut Pathogens
Dr. Laurel L. Lenz, PhD
2:00pm CDT


Pulmonary and systemic viral infections increase susceptibility to co-infection by pulmonary bacterial pathogens and are a leading cause of human deaths. I will discuss recent data demonstrating the dramatic impact of lung infection on susceptibility to co-infection by an oral bacterial pathogen. I will further discuss immune mechanisms contributing to increased invasive infection by orally encountered pathogens. These studies underscore the connectivity of gut and lung mucosae in determining the immune response to infection and overall resistance to disease.


Laurel L. Lenz, PhD is a Professor of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Following doctoral training at the University of Washington in Seattle and postdoctoral work at the University of California-Berkeley, he moved to Colorado, initially at National Jewish Health and since 2014 at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He was promoted to full Professor with tenure in 2015 and became Director of the Immunology Graduate Program in 2019. Dr. Lenz is an innate immunologist/microbiologist whose research focuses on dissecting the mechanisms by which microbial factors, interferons, and other cytokines regulate myeloid and natural killer (NK) cell activity to shape inflammation and host resistance to infection. His research has been continuously funded by NIH as well as other agencies. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers as well as numerous additional review articles, book chapters, commentaries, and patents. He has also served on several editorial and advisory boards, including as Section Editor for the Journal of Immunology, Associate Editor for Frontiers in Microbial Immunology, and as Ad Hoc and regular member of NIH and international study sections. He is a recipient of multiple research, teaching, and mentorship awards.

September 1, 2020 - Rachel Zemans MD

September 1, 2020
Epithelia and Barrier Biology: Pulmonary Epithelia
Rachel Zemans MD,
2:00pm CDT
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September 15, 2020 - Thomas Van Dyke DDS, PhD

September 15, 2020

Mucosal Therapies: Resolution Responses in Oral Cavity
Thomas Van Dyke DDS, PhD
8:00am CDT 
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Periodontitis, the most common inflammatory disease of man, is an infectious/inflammatory disease associated with dysbiosis of the commensal oral microbiome. Importantly, recent studies demonstrate a relationship between oral infectious/inflammatory conditions, in particular periodontal disease, and risk for systemic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. Resolution of inflammation is an active, receptor agonist mediated, well-orchestrated return of tissue homeostasis, not inhibition of proinflammatory pathways. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that specialized proresolving lipid mediators (SPMs) are potent when topically applied in the prevention and treatment of periodontitis. A Phase 1 clinical trial in humans presented no safety concerns for oral topical applications. Characterization of the molecular basis for regulation of inflammation has changed our understanding of the relationship between infection and inflammation in the oral cavity. Early efficacy data in humans reveals that a specific lipoxin analog reduces gingivitis and established periodontitis. These first in human studies demonstrate safety and potential efficacy of a pro-resolving mimetic for the treatment of periodontal diseases in man.

  1. Understand active resolution of inflammation pathways.
  2. Understand the pathogenesis of periodontitis and treatment options.
  3. Appreciate the potential of new therapeutics based on active resolution of inflammation pathways.



Thomas E. Van Dyke, DDS, PhD, is Vice President for Clinical and Translational Research, and Senior Member of Staff at the Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, MA; Professor of Oral; Medicine, Infection and Immunity, Harvard University Faculty of Medicine.  D.D.S., Case Western Reserve University; M.S., SUNY Buffalo in Oral Sciences; Periodontics Certificate, SUNY Buffalo, Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo in Oral Biology and two doctoral degrees honorus causa; Justis Liebig University, Giessen and University of Copenhagen.  Balint Orban Memorial Prize for Research in Periodontology, Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, IADR Award for Basic Research in Periodontology, the Norton Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research, Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, William J. Gies Periodontology Award.  He serves on numerous editorial boards has edited two volumes of Periodontology 2000.  President of the International Association of Periodontology (1997-1999).   Dr. Van Dyke has published 330+ original articles, and numerous abstracts and book chapters.  Member of the American/International Association of Dental Research, American Academy of Periodontology, International Academy of Periodontology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society of Microbiology, American Association of Immunologists.

November 10, 2020 - Ramnik Xavier MD, PhD

November 10, 2020

Harnessing the microbiome for IBD Therapy
Ramnik Xavier MD, PhD
7:00pm CDT 
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Dr. Ramnik Xavier is a Kurt Isselbacher Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Core Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and founding Co-Director of the Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics at MIT. Integrating novel genetic, molecular, and chemical biology approaches, his research programs focus on gaining insights into regulatory nodes that control mucosal homeostasis and inflammation through human genetics and gut microbiome studies. Dr. Xavier published over 300 papers to date.

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