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July 30 - August 3, 2007
RCAI International Summer Program (RISP 2007)

The second RCAI International Summer Program (RISP 2007) was held in Yokohama July 20-27. Forty three graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from sixteen countries participated in RISP 2007. During the first part of the program, held for four days at RCAI, there were poster and oral presentations by the participants and a series of lectures by invited speakers from RCAI, Japanese universities and abroad. The second part of the program was the joint RCAI/JSI meeting "Development and Maintenance of the Immune System" held at Pacifco Yokohama. Fifteen of the participants stayed on at RCAI for an additional week long laboratory internship from July 30 - August 3.

The research interests of the participants were quite varied, although T cell development and regulatory T cells were a major focus. Everyone who attended the sessions was very impressed by the high quality of the oral presentations and by the insightful questions asked during these presentations and during the invited lectures. These lectures provided an overview of the immune system ranging from molecular analysis of antigen receptor signaling to whole animal studies. Each lecturer incorporated introductory material pertinent to their topic as well as recent highlights from his or her own research.

Several of the invited lecturers also gave talks at the RCAI/JSI meeting, providing nice continuity with the material covered earlier at RCAI. There were also many new topics, thus further increasing the breadth of the immunology coverage accessible to the RISP participants. Awards for best RISP posters were presented at a reception on the first evening of the RCAI/JSI meeting. Toward the end of the reception, all the participants gathered as a group and their spokesman, Omar Duramad, a graduate student from the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center expressed their deep appreciation to the organizers for inviting them RISP 2007, an exceptional experience. The success of this unique program is due to the efforts of the Organizing Committee, chaired by Dr. Tomohiro Kurosaki, the RISP Secretariat who made sure everything went smoothly, and in particular to the efforts of the outstanding participants. Planning is already underway for the next RISP, tentatively scheduled for June 2008.