This proposal requests partial support for the yearly La Jolla Immunology Conference over the next five years. The 2008 meeting will represent the 34th annual conference that brings together fundamental Immunologists from the San Diego and has included members of the Los Angeles region (over the past 5 years). This superb small meeting is set for October 21-23, 2008 and will be held at the Salk Institute in La Jolla. This is a long-standing meeting that provides a high-level training ground for Immunology students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty. The meeting emphasizes local groups and draws 200-300 attendees each year. Participants and speakers are drawn primarily from the San Diego area with recent inclusion of groups from the greater Los Angeles area. There are two keynote speakers who are invited each year to open the meeting and set the tone for discussion and then close the meeting to help to provide perspective on the proceedings. The meeting content focuses on the most exciting Immunology research that is being pursued in the area and the yearly program is constructed to showcase current emerging trends and highlight future directions. The meeting runs for 2.5 days with 16 speakers invited from the rank of faculty (at least 6 new investigators) and 16 speakers selected from abstracts submitted in the summer prior to the meeting. A further 60-80 abstracts are presented as posters. The purpose of this meeting is to 1) maximize the training experience for younger scientists in the area of Immunology 2) foster a strong community spirit in the San Diego and greater Los Angeles area that contains so many outstanding laboratories focused on Basic Immunology. 3) encourage new collaborations across individuals within groups at separate academic institutions. 4) elaborate the potential for larger multi-focal (and perhaps multi-disciplinary) scientific initiatives that utilize the substantial breadth and depth of scientific research in the local environment.
The La Jolla Immunology Conference is a long-running dynamic small Immunology meeting that provides high-level training for young and experienced Immunologists to integrate the cellular and molecular underpinnings of basic immunology. This meeting provides a critical local forum for the exchange current research with substantial emphasis on understanding the regulation of adaptive immunity. This highly attended forum promotes a strong sense of local community and very effectively nucleates productive collaborative efforts in Immunology. The content and focus of this meeting drive efforts to improve vaccine design, treatments of autoimmunity, tumor therapies and the management of transplant rejection and hence can be considered highly relevant to the public health initiatives of the NIAID.