Message from President
by Andrew Cant
Dear friends and colleagues,
2017 may still be a young year, but there are plenty of exciting and challenging events and opportunities for ESID in the year ahead. Preparations are well underway for our special ESID in Focus Meeting in Edinburgh in September which looks set to be a marvellous opportunity to explore the topic of immune dysregulation along with colleagues working in the fields of rheumatology, auto-inflammation and gut and lung disease, which fits so well with the fascinating new insights in our field. The Edinburgh meeting will also provide an opportunity to launch the European Reference Network (ERN) for rare immunodeficiencies, auto-immune and auto-inflammatory diseases (ERN RITA).
When the European Union invited bids for reference networks for rare diseases, many of you encouraged the ESID Board to take part. I am delighted to tell you that the bid we submitted on behalf of colleagues across the fields of auto-immunity, auto-inflammation and primary immunodeficiency has been successful, with core funding of 200,000 Euros a year to enable us to develop this network over the next 5 years. The aim is to ensure that patients throughout the European Union have equal access to first class diagnostic tests, clinical expertise and the very best treatment. We are looking to develop an online e-consultation platform, update clinical guidelines, educational and case discussion opportunities, as well as travelling fellowships for doctors and nurses in training. I am very excited that the EU has recognised the importance of rare immune disorders and look forward to leading this to achieve things which will very much be a development on the excellent work already developed by ESID and other societies.
At a global level, it is exciting to see the collaboration between primary immune deficiency societies across the continents as we have come together in the International Alliance of Primary Immunodeficiency Societies (IAPIDS). As part of this exchange, the following ESID Board Members will be participating in the American Clinical Immunology Society (CIS) Conference in Seattle: Isabelle Meyts, Eleonora Gambineri and myself, and in the 2017 African Society for Primary Immune Deficiencies (ASID) congress in Livingstone, Zambia: Nizar Mahlaoui, Kaan Boztug and myself. We very much hope that this drawing together of societies will facilitate better research, improve educational opportunities and clinical awareness amongst people and their governments.
Looking beyond 2017, we are delighted to have the biennial meeting scheduled for Lisbon in 2018, and have decided to have a further ESID Focus meeting in Brussels in 2019, and in addition to all our usual activities, there will be a focus on conditions that overlap the immune and haematological systems. Looking a little further to the future, the scientific committee for the Birmingham meeting in 2020 are already bringing forward some very innovative and exciting plans for discussion, so as you can see, the next 3 to 4 years looks to be a very very exciting and fruitful one for our Society!
In closing, I would like to pay tribute to the hard work, support and encouragement from the other members of the ESID Board and indeed to many members of the Society who have contributed so much in the last few months. I would also like to say a special thank you to Susanne Wollaert who has done such a superb job running the ESID Secretariat, as she commences maternity leave in May. We wish Susanne all the very best and will look forward to her return in 2018.
With very best wishes,
Prof. Andrew Cant (ESID President) on behalf of the ESID Board