R13 conference support is requested for the 8th Biennial Eosinophil Symposium - "Eosinophils 2013", to be held from 13-17 July 2013 at Keble College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK, under the auspices of the International Eosinophil Society, Inc. (IES) (www.eosinophil-society.org). The meeting hosts ~30 invited speakers and ~150 participants. A cutting edge program of basic, translational, and clinical research has been prepared by the Local Organizing Committee in consultation with the Scientific Program Committee of IES. The programme will include sessions on (1) regulation of eosinophil development, functional maturation and death, (2) eosinophils as immunoregulatory cells, 3) eosinophil functions - trafficking, activation, and signaling, (4) eosinophils and gastrointestinal disease (5) eosinophils and host defence (5) experimental models of eosinophilic disease 6) new treatments for eosinophilic disease 7) hypereosinophilic syndrome 8) a new practical workshop aimed at new comers to the field on techniques for studying eosinophils. The central goal of this conference is to provide a highly interactive, interdisciplinary forum for scientific exchange and collaboration amongst junior and senior scientists in the fields of allergy, immunology, hematology, and cancer in relation to the role of the eosinophil in health and disease. A primary objective is to bring together non- clinical scientists with expertise in eosinophil biology, and clinical scientists interested in eosinophil associated disease, to improve understanding of disease mechanisms and the significance of eosinophil functions. A second objective is to foster the development and interests of younger investigators to help support their careers and provide a new generation of eosinophils. To accomplish this, the meeting will have a Keystone- like-structure with all the delegates in a single venue sharing meals and accommodation on the same footing to encourage informal interactions. There will be an emphasis through both the scientific and social programmes on creating a global community of eosinophil scientists. This meeting will be particularly timely because data from clinical trials o a new generation of biological therapies, which specifically block eosinophil-mediated inflammatory pathways, will be presented providing definitive data on the role of eosinophils in disease. The symposium, with its strong emphasis on inter-disciplinarity, covers important global diseases such as asthma, eosinophilic oesophagitis, parasitic disease and hypereosinophilic syndrome. The symposium consists of plenary and poster sessions. The plenary sessions will combine state of the art talks from leaders in the field together with cuttin edge lectures on recent high impact data. Each session will have two oral presentations taken from submitted abstracts. Three poster sessions will be unopposed and given high priority. We have two prize lectures, the 5th Ehrlich award for the scientist who has made a major overall contribution to the field, and the Gleich award for the scientist with the highest impact paper published over the previous two years.
Eosinophils are one of the white blood cells that are part of the immune response and protect us against infection. Eosinophils are thought to be protective against helminthic (worm) parasites. There is also evidence they protect us against cancer and some viral infections, as well as being involved in wound healing. Worm infections are the most common cause of a raised blood eosinophil count and remain a global health problem affecting tens if not hundreds of millions of adults and children in the developing world. The immune response can sometimes overreact to otherwise harmless stimuli. The stimulus can come from outside in which case it causes allergic disease or inside the body where it causes autoimmune responses. Allergic disease is the commonest cause of eosinophil-mediated inflammation in the developed world causing diseases such as asthma, eosinophilic esophagitis, drug allergy, and skin allergy. As with helminthic worm disease, these conditions cause misery to many millions of adults and children. Eosinophil-associated disease is therefore globally common and potentially debilitating. To help counter these diseases, the International Eosinophil Society, Inc. was formed in 1999 to foster research into eosinophil biology and the development of new strategies and medicines to treat eosinophil- associated disease. The major focus of the Society is a biennial international meeting. The purpose of the 8th International Eosinophil Symposium, Eosinophils 2013, is to provide a venue for scientists and clinician-investigators interested in eosinophils to meet, exchange information and develop collaborations to advance research in the fields of eosinophil biology and the pathogenesis of eosinophil-associated allergic and other diseases. The symposium showcases new research findings into all aspects of eosinophils and the diseases they cause. The meeting in 2013 will be particularly exciting as new data on clinical trials of novel anti-eosinophil drugs will be presented. A priority for the meeting is to develop collaborations between senior and junior members of the eosinophil community. An emphasis has therefore been placed on unopposed poster sessions, opportunities for oral presentations taken from submitted abstracts, and informal sessions to create space for scientific and social interactions among participants and invited speakers.