Mucosal Immunology

Committee

Dr Charani Ranasinghe
Australia National University, John Curtin School of Medical Research
Email: Charani.Ranasinghe@anu.edu.au
SIG position: chair (from 2014 onwards)

State Representatives
Dr. Charani Ranasinghe (ACT representative) Email: Charani.Ranasinghe@anu.edu.au

Prof. Ken Beagley (QLD representative) Email: k2.beagley@qut.edu.au

Dr. Margaret Dunkley (NSW representative) Email: Margaret.Dunkley@newcastle.edu.au

A/Prof. Phil Sutton (VIC representative) Email: psutton@unimelb.edu.au

Dr. Margaret Cooley (TAS representative) Email: Margaret.Cooley@utas.edu.au

Dr. Phil stumbles (WA representative) Email: p.stumbles@murdoch.edu.au

Dr. Elizabeth Forbes-Blom (New Zealand) Email: eforbes-blom@malaghan.org.nz

Dr.  Lachlan Moldenhauer (SA/NT representative) Email: lachlan.moldenhauer@adelaide.edu.au

Upcoming events

Mucosal Immunology Workshop at ASI 2014
Workshop preceding the 44th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Society for Immunology
Date: December 2014
Location: NSW
Registration information here
Contact details

ICMI 2015
17th International Congress of Mucosal Immunology
Date: summer 2015
Location: Berlin, Germany
Registration information here
Contact details

WEBSITE: http://www.socmucimm.org/meetings-events/icm15/ 

Mucosal Immunology – An overview

The mucosal surfaces of the body, such as the skin, respiratory tract and genitor-urinary tract have a higher risk of infection due to their interaction with the external environment. Mucosal immunology refers to those aspects of the immune system that protect the body from infection. The mucosal immune system is comprised of mechanical (mucus), chemical (secretory immunoglobulins and antimicrobial proteins) and cellular factors. While not independent of the systemic immune system, the mucosal immune system is autonomously regulated and has defence mechanisms specific to each mucosal compartment.

Mucosal immunology in health and disease

An important factor undertaken by the mucosal immune system is the ability to distinguish between innocuous antigens, such as dietary molecules and commensal bacteria, and infectious pathogens. Initiation of an immune response to innocuous antigens leads to a variety of diseases, in particular inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies and asthma. Dys-regulation of the immune response and a breakdown in mechanisms regulating homeostasis also underpin various other chronic diseases. Understanding the way the mucosal immune system functions is now the focus of mechanistic and clinical research world-wide. Furthermore, harnessing the power of the mucosal immune system is driving new approaches to vaccination.

Mucosal Immunology Special Interest Group

The aim of the mucosal immunology special interest group is to promote the discipline of mucosal immunology. The mucosal surfaces (or wet surfaces) of the body, including the skin, respiratory tract and genito-urinary tract, have a higher risk of infection due to their interaction with the external environment. Mucosal immunology refers to those aspects of the immune system that protect the body from infection via mucosal entry routes. The mucosal immune system is comprised of mechanical (mucus), chemical (secretory immunoglobulins and antimicrobial proteins) and cellular factors. While not independent of the systemic immune system, the mucosal immune system is autonomously regulated and has defence mechanisms specific to each mucosal compartment.

History of Mucosal Immunology in Australia

Prof. Allan Cripps was one of the first researchers involved in establishment of the SIG in Mucosal Immunology in 1992. A brief history of the SIG for Mucosal Immunology has been published in the ASI Newsletter in December 2010.

Meetings

Members of the Mucosal Immunology SIG formally get together during the annual workshop, which is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Australasian Society for Immunology.

Mucosal Immunology Journal

The official journal for the Society for Mucosal Immunology is ‘Mucosal Immunology’, a Nature publication with an impact factor in 2012 of 7.000 (2012 Journal Citation Report, Thomson Reuters, 2013).
For more information: http://www.nature.com/mi/index.html

Graham Jackson Memorial Mucosal Immunology Prize is $500 in 2014

Professor Graham Jackson is considered one of the pioneers in mucosal immunology in Australia. In his memory, the Mucosal Immunology SIG rewards the best poster or oral presentation by a research student or postdoctoral investigator in the area of Mucosal Immunology, presented at the ASI SIG Workshop or the ASI Mucosal Immunology Symposium. Postgraduate students and postdoctoral investigators (with up to 2 years research experience after award of PhD) who are ASI members are eligible to apply. The presentations are assessed on excellence and originality of scientific content in Mucosal Immunology and clarity of the presentation by a panel of peers, none of whom is a past or present supervisor of any applicant. The Graham Jackson Memorial Mucosal Immunology Prize is valued at $250 each and presented at the annual ASI meeting. From time to time, the Society for Mucosal Immunology sponsors one of more poster prizes up to the value of $500. These prizes may be used to finance attendance at the international meeting of the Society for Mucosal Immunology. The application procedure for these prizes will be advertised with the annual ASI meeting registration details. The Mucosal Immunology SIG maintains close ties with the international Society for Mucosal Immunology.
For more information: http://www.socmucimm.org