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The fourth RCAI-JSI International Symposium on Immunology 2008

June 26 - 27, 2008

The fourth RCAI-JSI International Symposium on Immunology 2008 took place on June 26-27 in Yokohama. This annual symposium is jointly organized by RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology (RCAI) and the Japanese Society for Immunology (JSI). Four hundred people, including 89 from outside of Japan, attended this year's symposium entitled "Regulation of Immune Homeostasis and Diseases". There were 25 prominent invited speakers who gave talks about the hottest topics related to immune regulation.

In the first session "Regulation of lymphocyte activation: molecular events and imaging", Dr. Arup Chakraborty of MIT presented his unique computational approach to analyze the biological experimental data on molecular signaling in T cells. Related to the imaging analysis, Dr. Takashi Saito of RCAI presented his recent data on T cell activation and Dr. Facundo Batista of Cancer Research UK on B cell activation. In the second session "Molecular basis of innate immunity", Dr. Tadatsugu Taniguchi of Univ. of Tokyo nicely summarized his tremendous body of work on the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family, and Dr. Shizuo Akira of Osaka Univ. introduced the function of Toll-like-receptor 5 for host defense in the intestine. On the second day, a session "Signal transduction pathways regulating cell fates" focused on the cytoskeletal proteins and apoptosis. Dr. Shigekazu Nagata of Kyoto Univ. showed several movies to explain the variety of molecules used by different macrophages for recognition of apoptotic cells. The final session "Molecular mechanisms of immunological diseases and future direction" focused on disease-related approaches. Dr. Michael Lenardo of NIH introduced a human genetic approach to understand abnormalities of immunological tolerance. Dr. Alain Fischer of Hospital Necker introduced genetic disorders resulting in T-cell immunodeficiencies.

The various approaches introduced in this symposium gave a clear impression that research on immune regulation is moving toward the successful integration of multidisciplinary fields.