This application requests partial support for the 11th International Congress of the International Society of Neuroimmunology sponsored by the International Society of Neuroimmunology (ISNI), which will take place in Boston MA, from November 4-8, 2012. The congress will be preceded by a pre-congress program sponsored by the European School of Neuroimmunology, represented by leaders in the field of neuroimmunology. The congress is organized by Drs. Samia Khoury, Vijay Kuchroo and Howard Weiner from Harvard, Dr. David Hafler from Yale, and Dr. Steve Jacobson from NIH. Neuroimmunology has become an important and continuously expanding biomedical field, encompassing a wide variety of disciplines ranging from genetics, basic immunology and neurobiology, through neurochemistry, pharmacology, endocrinology, neuropathology and neuroimmunomodulation, to clinical immunology and neurology. The scientific program will cover themes that are undergoing the most rapid developments and are prospectively relevant for the development of new approaches to treat neuroinflammatory diseases, including multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, CNS gliomas and other disorders. The topics of the concurrent symposia will cover several main areas of neuroimmunology with emphasis on the most recent developments such as the microbiome, protein-glycan interactions, stem cells and immunity, immunity in neurodegenerative diseases, and paraneoplastic diseases. This request is for travel funds and will be used to encourage young and minority investigators (pre- and postdoctoral) to attend from around the world, in particular from less developed countries. A local organizing committee in the United States will carry out the selection of candidates. Because of the heavy emphasis on translational research, Continuing Medical Education credits will be offered at the congress and support will be requested to cover the costs associated with the administration of disclosure information and the overall accreditation process, which will ensure all congress presentations are balanced and free of bias for the participants.
The management paradigm for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neuroimmune diseases such as neuromyelitis optica, inflammatory myopathies and neuropathies, and brain tumors continues to evolve and is shifting toward earlier diagnosis, differentiation of patients with varying clinical prognoses, and earlier initiation of individualizd treatment in selected individuals. This requires further education and insight among those responsible to ensure access to available treatments. The ISNI congress is the most important international program dedicated to neuroimmunologic diseases that occurs every 2 years and attracts neurologist, immunologists and trainees (around 2000 attendees).