In case anybody missed it, Monday was the 6th international Day of Immunology (DOI). Here at CiteAb we celebrated in customary style – with cake – but also engaged in the #DOImmuno Twitter discussion and it got us thinking about the developments in the field in the last 12 months.


The international Day of Immunology was first launched in 2005 by the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS), with the aim of ‘strengthening public awareness of immunology as a basis for individual health and well-being.”


With this in mind, each year scientists from around the world have used a variety of media to engage and amaze the public with their research in immunology, and this year was no exception with organisations and individuals from around the world getting involved.


Given the sheer pace of scientific progression these days it’s often easy to miss some of the most important developments, especially in those fields with which your own research doesn’t overlap.

So here at CiteAb we’ve decided to take a look back at the year in immunology, the good, the bad, and the downright ugly!


Nature Immunology, Immunology and Journal Immunology are possibly the best known journals in the field. However, the Cancer Immunology Research journal from the American Association of Cancer Research, the Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology from the Allergy and Immunology Society of Thailand and the Clinical and Translational Immunology journal from Nature all launched in 2012 and published high level research papers in the field.


2012 also saw Professor Alain Fischer from Paris awarded the Avery-Landsteiner Award by the German Society for Immunology. The award is the most prestigious scientific award conferred by the German Society for Immunology and was presented to Prof Fischer for his milestone discoveries and treatment developments in the management of hereditary immunodeficiencies.


To outline all of the fantastic research happening in immunology would be an endless task, but some of the papers our team has found most interesting include…

 – Kristina Žumer, Kalle Saksela, and B. Matija Peterlin. The Mechanism of Tissue-Restricted Antigen Gene Expression by AIRE. J Immunol 190:2479-2482

This paper gives a particularly nice review of the fascinating AIRE gene, fundamental in T cell development and in preventing autoimmune diseases.

 – Munitta Muthana, Samuel Rodrigues, Yung-Yi Chen, Abigail Welford, Russell Hughes, Simon Tazzyman, Magnus Essand, Fiona Morrow and Claire E. Lewis1. Macrophage Delivery of an Oncolytic Virus Abolishes Tumor Regrowth and Metastasis After Chemotherapy or Irradiation. Cancer Res. Published Online November 20, 2012.

Given the devastating effect cancer has on millions of people around the world, it’s hardly surprising this is one of our favourite papers to come out of 2012.


On the flip side of the coin, we’ve also seen the negative impact on British populations this year of a widespread decision by many families to not immunise their children against Measles. An epidemic of 1000s of cases has spread across Wales and led to mass inoculation clinics being set up around the country.


That’s it for this week. We hope everyone has enjoyed DOI 2013 and here’s looking forward to another 2013 months filled with breakthroughs in the field of  immunology.


– The CiteAb Team