Dear Global Immunology Community
The 18th IUIS International Congress of Immunology, to be held in Cape Town from 27 November-2 December 2023, will be a landmark occasion for Cape Town, South Africa, Africa and the Global immunology community. This will be the first time the congress will be held in Africa and I think will represent a watershed moment for the immunology field. This is also the first such meeting that will be held since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and where many of us are piecing together the immunology of SARS-CoV-2 infections. The rapidity of having what appears to be an effective suit of vaccines and introduction of various treatment regimens is the exemplar of what can be achieved when immunology, drug and vaccine development come together. Our Congress needs to reflect this intersection and brings into focus our meeting theme: Turning Discoveries into Treatments.
As President of the 18th IUIS Congress, I will enthusiastically welcome you to South Africa and to beautiful Cape Town. Our sub-theme “from Basic to Translational Immunology and Back” will guide us in tapping into the global immunology dialogue to effectively translate basic immunological findings into actionable protocols to address the disease burden challenge in Africa. Notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, the wide spectrum of communicable and non-communicable diseases that exist in Africa also represents an ecology of diseases that exist in many other parts of the World. Thus, the International Congress of Immunology being held in Africa will reflect the variety of global exceptional challenges for immunology. In turn, our theme further encompasses studies of human diseases, involving immune networks, microbiomes and genetic variation that can also inform basic immunology. By so doing, we aim to harness the connectivity between basic immunology and human health. We believe that this focus and theme, woven into the scientific programme, can provide new inspiration to the global immunology community.
We wish to be inclusive of immunology from all regional societies: FAIS, EFIS, FIMSA, ALACI and AAI. Our Scientific Program Committee, chaired by Mark Davis and Miriam Mered, comprises a mix of immunologists from across all national and regional societies and promises to put together an exciting cohesive and inspiring scientific agenda. Importantly, this is also an African meeting and there is incredible enthusiasm and exhilaration being generated across North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. Both the South African Immunology Society and the Federation of African Immunology Societies are your hosts, and we will make this a memorable experience.
We hope that by November 2023, the COVID-19 pandemic will be under control and the recent news of efficacious vaccines is heartening. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were discussing the possibilities of introducing a hybrid of physical and online sessions. It is more likely that this will now be a reality and we look forward to warmly welcoming you either in person or as virtual guests.
President of the IUIS 2023 Congress