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The third RCAI international Summer Program 2008

June 20-27, 2008

The third RCAI international Summer Program (RISP 2008) was held in Yokohama June 20-27. Thirty-nine graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from nineteen countries participated in RISP 2008. The first part of the program was held at RCAI and featured 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/Japan Society of Immunology meeting. "Regulation of immune homeostasis and diseases" held at the Pacifico Conference center in Yokohama. Two of the participants stayed on at RCAI for a four week long laboratory internship.

The focus of the lectures at RCAI was on innate immunity but other topics included lymphocyte development/differentiation, immune evasion, mucosal immunity, and immunotherapy. These lectures provided a broad overview of the immune system, with methodologies ranging from single molecule to whole animal analyses. Each of the invited speakers incorporated introductory material pertinent to their topic as well as recent highlights from their own research. The research interests of the participants were similarly varied, making for a unique opportunity during the oral and poster presentations as well as in more informal settings for cross-fertilization among immunology subdisciplines. The question periods following talks by both invited lecturers and participants were spirited and stimulating.

Several of the invited lecturers also gave talks at the RCAI/JSI meeting, where they described further new developments in their research programs. There were also many new speakers and topics, thus further increasing the breadth of the immunology coverage available to the RISP participants. Awards for best RISP posters were presented at a reception during the RCAI/JSI meeting. All of the participants gathered to express their appreciation to the organizers for inviting them to RISP 2008, an exceptional experience from scientific and cultural perspectives. The success of this unique program is due to the efforts of the Organizing Committee, chaired by Dr. Kurosaki, Dr. Ishido and Dr. Tanaka, the RISP Secretariat, Ms. Aki, who kept the entire operation running smoothly, and in particular to the efforts of the outstanding participants. Planning is already underway for RISP 2009, tentatively scheduled for early July.