LIH was well represented at this year’s annual Congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) to communicate on the successful projects in allergy research conducted in Luxembourg. At the international meeting that took place in Lisbon from 1st to 5th June 2019, two staff members of LIH were nominated to EAACI boards and two young researchers were honoured with awards for their excellent presentations.
The epidemic of allergic diseases represents a major health burden in all modern societies. The four-day EAACI congress gathered the international allergy research community for a rich scientific programme composed of symposia, hot topic sessions, scientific courses, interactive workshops, oral abstract and thematic poster sessions, working group meetings and more. Each year, this congress is a must go for the researchers of LIH’s Department Infection and Immunity specialised in the field of molecular, translational and clinical allergology.
EAACI board nominations
The meeting was the occasion for the EAACI to announce the nomination of new board members. Prof Markus Ollert, Director of LIH’s Department of Infection and Immunity was elected to the Executive Committee as Member at Large and will thus be involved in developing and implementing the strategic EAACI programme for the two-year term 2019-2021. Furthermore, Dr Christiane Hilger, Principal Investigator, was elected board member and secretary of the Interest Group Allergy Diagnosis & Systems MedicinAllergy Diagnosis & Systems Medicin e. This interest group is in charge of promoting molecular based IgE-diagnosis and personalised medicine in the clinical management of allergy.
Knowledge sharing by experts
Other research group leaders had the opportunity to present selected research subjects and findings. Dr Annette Kuehn, Principal Investigator, was invited as expert speaker in a session on food allergy and precision medicine. She held an interactive workshops on molecular allergology, entitled “Allergy to fish: new diagnostic developments”, sharing and discussing evidence and experience gathered in molecular food allergy diagnosis. Prof Dirk Brenner, Principal Investigator and FNR ATTRACT fellow, gave an invited expert talk on T cell metabolism in a thematic symposium session on immune regulation in health and airway disease.
Young researchers recognised
Dr Aurélie Poli, Senior Research Engineer, received the prize of the best oral presentation when exposing her interdisciplinary work on glioblastoma progression in the context of allergic airway inflammation during the late breaking oral abstract session Advances in cellular immunology. Her transversal project in the emerging field of allergo-oncology synergises the expertise of LIH’s Department of Infection and Immunity, the Department of Oncology and the technological platforms for bioinformatics and proteomics.
Julia Klueber, PhD candidate in the group of Dr Kuehn, was awarded the prize for the best poster presentation in the thematic poster session New laboratory tests and biomarker candidates. Her poster entitled “Method development for allergen capture from allergenic sources using human IgE-antibodies” presented a new co-immunoprecipitation assay based on a chimeric construct binding IgE from allergic patients, which allows the isolation of allergens thus enabling their future characterisation and application in diagnostic settings.
Guillem Montamat, PhD candidate in the group of Prof Ollert, supported by an EAACI travel grant to attend the congress, and Bente Janssen-Weets, PhD candidate in the group of Dr Hilger, also had the opportunity to give poster presentations at the meeting in the sessions Mechanisms and allergens and New laboratory tests and biomarker candidates. Their work focused on cat allergen immunotherapy and in-depth analysis of horse allergens, respectively.
‘This year’s congress was outstanding. We were able to feature LIH’s allergy research and expertise at multiple occasions. I am especially delighted that the research work presented by our early-stage researchers was appreciated and acknowledged by the EAACI community,‘ states Prof Ollert.
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is a membership-based, non-profit organisation uniting clinicians, researchers and health professionals, dedicated to improving the health of people affected by allergic diseases. Founded in 1956, the EAACI has over 11,000 members from more than 120 countries and over 50 National Allergy Societies. The annual EAACI Congress is the flagship meeting of the academy and the world’s largest congress specialising in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.