With nearly 230 participants and a strong (inter)national program this year’s Lunteren Symposium dealt with the delicate regulation of immune responses in autoimmunity, infection and cancer. The balance between immune activation and suppression was illustrated by great talks on immune system modelling, innate and molecular regulators of disease, mononuclear phagocytes, cellular deactivation and antibody development. All speakers presented their work starting from a nice background, taking care the full audience could be captivated. Some of highlights included Abul Abbas, who after dinner discussed the history and future of IL-2. IL-2 still intrigues immunologists through its crucial role in promoting regulatory T cells, while at the same time stimulating effector T cells. The evening continued with a nice party where participants continued discussions or danced into the night. The meeting was closed by Adrian Hayday telling the audience about the APECED disease that afflicts around 100 patients worldwide and is caused by mutations in the AIRE gene. These patients have a severe lack of self-tolerance and upon pathogen exposure generate unique patterns of high affinity anti-self-antibodies, which have already let to novel applications to detect cytokines in autoimmunity with unprecedented sensitivity.
Save the dates for next year, 28-29th of March 2019, for another exciting Lunteren Meeting!