Friday, May 9, 2014

Twelfth Congress of immunology

The Iranian Association for Immunology and Allergy is one of the many scientific associations active in Iran. They had elected me last year as the President of their twelfth Congress.The Congress was held last week at the Milad tower in Tehran. In addition to over 1800 articles submitted to the Congress,
we had over 2000 participants, 40 workshop sessions, dozens of panels and an exhibition for  knowledge based corporations in this field.We also had over 30 international guests, all distinguished Professors of Immunology, including Rolf Zinkernagel, the Medicine Nobel prize laureate of 1996. 
I spoke at the opening ceremony stressing upon the fact that we believe that knowledge has no  boundaries and that it belongs to all humanity, then we should all strive to remove barriers and restrictions set for certain nations. Also, I noted that this great Congress shows how Iranian scientists contribute to this global wealth.This congress is being held when Tehran is experiencing better air quality due to in part, improvement in the quality of petroleum  I said and proposed that an interdisciplinary field of environmental immunology be followed more seriously. I was also honored to invite our Nobel laureate guest to the podium for his speech. Zinkernagel who had discovered the mechanism by which T cells confront viral infections, was now questioning some of the basic dogmas of immunlogy including memory.
The Congress convened all its sessions with high attendence and during the closing ceremony the head of the International Union of Immunological Associations Seppo Morino, noted in his speech that he had attended many Congresses but that he believed this was one of the best in terms of organization, scientific content and attendance.  Our Iranian colleagues had done a great job! 

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