AAI Committee Symposia and Sessions

AAI Committee Symposia and Sessions

AAI Clinical Immunology Committee
Lymphocyte Engineering for Cancer and Beyond
Saturday, May 13, 3:45 PM – 5:45 PM, Room 207A
Thomas F. Gajewski, Univ. of Chicago Med. Ctr.; AAI Clinical Immunology Committee Chair
Agnes M. Azimzadeh, Univ. of Maryland


  • Marcela V. Maus, Massachusetts Gen. Hosp., The human T cell as a therapeutic drug
  • David W. Scott, Uniformed Serv. Univ. of Hlth. Sci., Driving CARs to BARs: the road to engineered human antigen-specific regulatory and cytotoxic T cells
  • Malcolm K. Brenner, Baylor Col. of Med., Adoptive immunotherapy of cancer: beyond the B cell barrier
  • Charles L. Sentman, Geisel Sch. of Med., Dartmouth, Design and engineering of immune receptors for adoptive cell therapy

The adoptive transfer of specific lymphocyte subsets has been pursued as a strategy for immunotherapy over the past several decades, either for immune potentiation or immune suppression. Advances in genetic engineering technologies have enabled the reprogramming of lymphocytes, providing these cells with new specificities and even new functional attributes. Perhaps the most advanced of these strategies in clinical development is the application of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-transduced T cells for the treatment of B cell malignancies. This session will explore the diversity of approaches being investigated in lymphocyte engineering, both in the context of cancer and in other clinical scenarios.

AAI Committee on Public Affairs
Biomedical Research Priorities in the New Administration and Congress
Monday, May 15, 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM, Room 209ABC
Beth A. Garvy, Univ. of Kentucky; AAI Committee on Public Affairs Chair

A new presidential administration can usher in a great deal of change, including new leadership in key scientific posts who will help implement the president’s agenda and fulfill the missions of their agencies. This session will explore President Donald Trump’s budget and policy priorities, as well as the priorities of the Republican-led Congress, in the area of biomedical research. What changes can we expect, and what issues are likely to dominate the debate? Join the AAI Committee on Public Affairs in welcoming experts who can share important insights and answer pivotal questions.

AAI Education Committee
Immunology Teaching Interest Group
Saturday, May 13, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Room 102B
Julie M. Jameson, California State Univ., San Marcos
David W. Mullins, Dartmouth Col.


  • Manoj K. Mishra, Alabama State Univ., Engaging undergraduate students in immunology through problem-based learning modules
  • David W. Mullins, Dartmouth Col., Digital communication and social media to connect with the modern student
  • Keith E. Garrison, St. Mary’s Col. of California, Undergraduate clinical lab simulation using ELISA
  • Devavani Chatterjea, Macalester Col., Discerning, crafting and telling immunological stories: a semester-long scaffolded writing project for beginning immunologists
  • Edith Porter, California State Univ., Los Angeles, Teaching students how to formulate research questions: adaptation of the question formulation technique to the upper division immunology curriculum

Are you looking for new ideas or strategies to enliven and improve your teaching? If so, please join us for this special interest group which will focus on strategies that instructors can use to successfully convey immunology concepts to students at the undergraduate and graduate level. Topics will include the applications of problem-based learning, the use of digital communication and social media in modern teaching, strategies for teaching laboratory methods, and more. The session will end with structured breakout discussion groups for undergraduate and graduate/medical school teaching. Undergraduate teaching topics for discussion will include: developing a teaching philosophy; use of take-home vs. in-class tests; developing a course syllabus; and selection of effective textbooks. Breakout discussions for medical school teaching will cover optimal use of handouts and notes; spaced learning and testing effect; preparing students for the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE); writing USMLE-style exams and assessments; question banks for test questions; and the flipped classroom in medical education. Current educators, new faculty, and trainees with an interest in teaching are welcome.

Careers in Biotech: Panel Discussion and Networking
Saturday, May 13, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Room 209ABC
Kerry A. Casey, MedImmune


  • Ann Field, Associate Director, Research Project and Portfolio Management, MedImmune
  • Andrea Itano, Vice President, Head of Tempero Discovery Performance Unit, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Ingrid L. Scully, Senior Principal Scientist, Pfizer
  • Matthew Sleeman, Executive Director, Immunology & Inflammation, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Many opportunities exist in industry for scientists with advanced degrees. There are positions in laboratory research, program management, business development, regulatory affairs, clinical trials oversight, medical liaison, and more. This panel features scientists employed in a variety of positions in industry discussing their career paths and the skills required for success in each. Following the panel discussion, enjoy casual conversation with the speakers and other scientists from industry at a networking reception.

AAI Education Committee and AAI Committee on the Status of Women
Careers in Science Roundtable
Sunday, May 14, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Ballroom C
Virginia Shapiro, Mayo Clin.; AAI Committee on the Status of Women Chair

At this popular session, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with scientists at your own career stage and with more experienced scientists to explore specific career issues important to men and women in science today. Learn what others are thinking and gain insights into issues you are confronting in your own situation. Recently added topics offer insights into international opportunities in science, NIH Study Sections, considerations for scientists in M.D.-Ph.D. careers, and a number of ways scientists contribute to the field in non-research careers. Choose from these and other vital topics related to the environment you work in (academic research, biotech industry, governmental agencies, non-profits), the transitions from specific career stages, or issues in balancing career and family in any career path. Don’t miss this great networking opportunity! Registration Fee: $25 (Lunch included.)

Discussion topics and table leaders:

  • Research Careers in Academia
    • Graduate Student to Postdoc: finding a postdoc, interviewing
      Table Leaders: Steve M. Varga, Univ. of Iowa; Subbarao Bondada, Univ. of Kentucky; Ashok Kumar, Children’s Hosp. of East Ontario Res. Inst.; Arash Grakoui, Emory Univ.; Chander Raman, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham; Michelle A. Kutzler, Drexel Univ. Col. of Med.; Lori R. Covey, Rutgers Univ.; Klaus Ley, La Jolla Inst. for Allergy and Immunol.; Tonya J. Webb, Univ. of Maryland Sch. of Med.
    • Postdoc to PI: finding a position, interviewing, negotiating, lab start-up
      Table Leaders: Lauren A. Zenewicz, Univ. of Oklahoma Hlth. Sci. Ctr.; Bao Q. Vuong, City Col. of New York; Damian L. Turner, Williams Col.; Lisa K. Denzin, Rutgers Univ.; Heather R. Conti, Univ. of Toledo; Fotini Gounari, Univ. of Chicago; Khashayarsha Khazaie, Mayo Clin.; Jennifer A. Punt, Columbia Univ. Med. Ctr.; Pooja Jain, Drexel Univ. Col. of Med.; Lyse A. Norian, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
    • New PI:
      • Attracting students and postdocs
        Table Leaders: Laura A. Solt, Scripps Res. Inst.; Louise M. D’Cruz, Univ. of Pittsburgh
      • Preparing for promotion
        Table Leaders: Yina H. Huang, Dartmouth Geisel Sch. of Med.; Lisa H. Butterfield, Univ. of Pittsburgh
    • Negotiating an Academic Position
      Table Leaders: Malini Raghavan, Univ. of Michigan; Janice S. Blum, Indiana Univ. Sch. of Med.
    • Undergraduate Institutions: finding the balance in teaching, doing research
      Table Leaders: Charlotte M. Vines, Univ. of Texas, El Paso; Penny E. Shockett, Southeastern Louisiana Univ.; Julie M. Jameson, California State Univ., San Marcos
    • Mentoring Effectively
      Table Leaders: Partha Sarathi Biswas, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Lawrence P. Kane, Univ. of Pittsburgh
  • Networking Skills
    • How to build a network for postdocs
      Table Leaders: Paula M. Oliver, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Amanda C. Poholek, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Elizabeth A. Repasky, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
    • Networking skills for PIs
      Table Leaders: Madeleine W. Cunningham, Univ. of Oklahoma Hlth. Sci. Ctr.; Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Career and Family: balancing parenthood and career; the dual career couple
    Table Leaders: Cathryn Nagler, Univ. of Chicago; Laura Santambrogio, Albert Einstein Col. of Med.
  • Careers in Biotech and Industry: moving from academia to industry and vice versa
    Table Leaders: Andrew C. Chan, Genentech; Divya Sagar, MedImmune; Saifur Rahman, MedImmune; Jennifer Towne, Janssen Therapeutics; Laura L. Carter, Lycera Corp.; Catherine J. McMahan, Emergent BioSolutions; Mandy J. McGeachy, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Lisa I. Hoover, Precision for Medicine; Andrea Itano, GlaxoSmithKline; Matthew Sleeman, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Careers at Governmental Agencies
    Table Leaders: Daniela Vertelyi, FDA; Pam L. Schwartzberg, NHGRI, NIH; Joan K. Lunney, USDA; Chao Jiang, NIAID, NIH; Jonathan W. Yewdell, NIAID, NIH
  • NIH Study Section Insights
    • Grant Writing for Fellowships/Transition Awards
      Table Leaders: Maureen Ann McGargill, St. Jude’s Children’s Res. Hosp.; Michael A. Farrar, Univ. of Minnesota; Kristin A. Hogquist, Univ. of Minnesota
    • Grant Writing for PIs
      Table Leaders: Virginia Shapiro, Mayo Clin.; Mark L. Lang, Univ. of Oklahoma Hlth. Sci. Ctr.; Robert J. Binder, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Catherine C. “Lynn” Hedrick, La Jolla Inst. for Allergy and Immunol.
  • The Physician Scientist: balancing clinical and research duties
    Table Leaders: Saad Kendarian, Mayo Clin.; Penelope A. Morel, Univ. of Pittsburgh
  • Research from the M.D., Ph.D. Perspective
    Table Leader: Ifor R. Williams, Emory Univ.
  • Non-Research Careers for Scientists: careers enabling scientists to advance the field away from the bench
    • Scientific Publishing
      Table Leaders: Ellen C. Fox, AAI, The Journal of Immunology, Angela Colmone, AAAS, Science Immunology
    • Opportunities for Scientists in Foundations/Non-profits
      Table Leaders: M. Michele Hogan, Executive Director, AAI; Susanna F. Greer, American Cancer Society
    • Careers in Technology Transfer
      Table Leaders: Wendy Martin, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County; Mark L. Rohrbaugh, Office of Intramural Research, NIH
    • Careers in Science Policy
      Table Leaders: Lauren G. Gross, Public Policy and Government Affairs, AAI; Carrie D. Wolinetz, Office of Science Policy, NIH
  • International Opportunities in Science
    Table leaders: Susan John, Kings Col. London; John E. Connolly, Inst. of Molecular and Cell Biol., Singapore; Hans-Martin Jäck, Univ. of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

AAI Minority Affairs Committee
Careers Roundtable and Speed Networking Session
Saturday, May 13, 11:45 AM – 2:15 PM, Ballroom C
Cherié L. Butts, Biogen; AAI Minority Affairs Committee Chair

Networking skills have never been more crucial to ensure success for early/mid-career scientists, including those traditionally under-represented in biomedical research. At the roundtable, take advantage of the opportunity to meet in small-group format with accomplished, senior immunologists to hear how they have handled the career challenges you now face and learn what they believe will work for you today. Then practice networking in a relaxed environment offering a structured networking exercise and personalized feedback on communicating your scientific interests/objectives most effectively. Scientists and trainees of all backgrounds are encouraged to attend! Registration Fee: $25 (Includes lunch plus coffee during networking hour.)

Discussion topics and table leaders:

  • Grad student: finding a mentor, setting sights on postdoc training
    • Table Leaders: Claudia Jakubzick, Natl. Jewish Hlth.; Luis A. Sanchez-Perez, Duke Univ.; Tonya Webb, Univ. of Maryland; Harlan Jones, Univ. of North Texas Hlth. Sci. Ctr.
  • Postdoc: finding a mentor, setting sights on a faculty position
    • Table Leaders: Mireia Guerau-de-Arellano, Ohio State Univ.; Charlotte Vines, Univ. of Texas, El Paso; Eduardo Davila, Univ. of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Ctr.
  • Junior Faculty: preparing for promotion and tenure
    • Table Leaders: Robert J. Binder, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Floyd Wormley, Univ. of Texas, San Antonio; Joseph Larkin III, Univ. of Florida
  • — NEW — Mid-Career Faculty: creative strategies for maintaining momentum in funding, research, people management
    • Table Leaders: Arturo Casadevall, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Sch. of Publ. Hlth.; Avery August, Cornell Univ. Col. of Vet. Med.; Prosper N. Boyaka, Ohio State Univ.; Tyler J. Curiel, Univ. of Texas Hlth. Sci. Ctr., San Antonio
  • Academia or Industry: how to decide (or switch sides)
    • Table Leaders: Jonathan A. Deane, GNF/Novartis; Robert Balderas, BD Biosciences; Margaret Bynoe, Cornell Univ. Col. of Vet. Med.
  • Government Agency Careers: CDC, FDA, NIH
    • Table Leaders: Marta Catalfamo, Georgetown Univ.; Charles Egwuagu, NEI, NIH
  • Non-Bench-Research Science Careers – e.g., scientific publishing; entrepreneurship; intellectual property/patent law
    • Table Leaders: James W. Lillard, Jr., Morehouse Sch. of Med. and JYANT Technologies, Inc.; Fabiola V. Rivas, Cell Press

AAI Vanguard Lecture
Monday, May 15, 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM, Room 204AB
Cherié L. Butts, Biogen; AAI Minority Affairs Committee Chair


Tyler Curiel

  • Tyler J. Curiel, Univ. of Texas Hlth. Sci. Ctr., San Antonio, Advancing towards optimized cancer immunotherapy

Since 2003, the AAI meeting has featured a scientific lecture presented by an AAI member who is an underrepresented minority investigator. Selected for their achievements in the field of immunology, presenters are among the most prominent investigators in the field and models of successful career development.

AAI Program Committee
Back to School: A Review of Four Fast-Moving Fields
Friday, May 12, 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM, Room 207A
Wendy L. Havran, Scripps Res. Inst; AAI Program Committee Chair
Dorian B. McGavern, NINDS, NIH


  • Ellen V. Rothenberg, California Inst. of Technol., Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms regulating lymphocyte fate
  • Kathy D. McCoy, Univ. of Calgary, Canada, The influence of the microbiome on systemic immunity
  • William R. Schief, Scripps Res. Inst., Germline-targeting vaccine design for HIV
  • Dorian B. McGavern, NINDS, NIH, Imaging the immune response

This workshop intends to bring a broad audience up-to-date on a few emerging or rapidly changing fields or areas of technological innovation. Expert lecturers will provide an overview of each trending topic with an emphasis on communicating big picture concepts.

AAI Publications Committee
Publish or Perish? Pearls and Perils in Writing and Reviewing Scientific Manuscripts
Saturday, May 13, 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM, Room 204AB
Bethany B. Moore, Univ. of Michigan; AAI Publications Committee Chair
Pamela J. Fink, Univ. of Washington Sch. of Med.; Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Immunology


  • Bethany B. Moore, Univ. of Michigan, Ready, set, write…maintaining momentum in manuscript preparation
  • Kristin A. Hogquist, Univ. of Minnesota, Responding to reviewers: what you want to say and what you should say
  • Michael P. Cancro, Univ. of Pennsylvania Sch. of Med., How to review scientific manuscripts: the forest or the trees?
  • Pamela J. Fink, Univ. of Washington Sch. of Med., Ethical Issues in scientific publishing: just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD

Your data are good and now it’s time to write the manuscript. What steps are essential to tell the story clearly and convincingly? What is the best way to present your data? Once the manuscript is reviewed, how should you respond to the reviewer comments? What ethical pitfalls should you be aware of in order to avoid possible problems? If you would like to become a reviewer, what do you need to know about how to review a manuscript? These and other questions will be addressed in this session sponsored by the AAI Publications Committee.

AAI Veterinary Immunology Committee and American Association of Veterinary Immunologists (AAVI) Joint Symposium
Tumor Immunotherapy in Comparative Oncology
Saturday, May 13, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, Room 204C
Crystal L. Loving, Natl. Animal Dis. Ctr., ARS, USDA; AAI Veterinary Immunology Committee Chair
Radhey Kaushik, South Dakota State Univ.


  • Nicola J. Mason, Univ. of Pennsylvania Sch. of Vet. Med., CAR T cell therapy in dogs with hematological malignancies
  • Lawrence B. Schook, Univ. of Illinois Col. of Agricultural, Consumer and Envrn. Sci., The Oncopig Cancer Model (OCM): A platform for transitional, translational and transformative advances in cancer research
  • David M. Vail, Univ. of Wisconsin Sch. of Vet. Med., Defining the value of comparative cancer immunotherapy clinical trials in companion species
  • Jaime F. Modiano, Univ. of Minnesota Col. of Vet. Med., Opportunities to accelerate translation of cancer immunotherapy through companion animal trials

This symposium will feature approaches for cancer immunotherapy relevant to both human and veterinary health, with an emphasis on immune system recognition and activation. Various active and passive immunotherapy approaches will be presented, highlighting the ability of antibodies and immune cells to destroy tumor cells while sparing healthy cells. The symposium will highlight recent advances in comparative tumor immunology that demonstrate translational cohesion and support the current “One Health” approach to identify scientific commonalities and medical treatments that benefit both humans and animals.