Six trainees from the Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics (MIMG) represented Long School of Medicine and UT Health San Antonio at the 2018 American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Annual Meeting. The AAI Annual Meeting is a prominent conference among global leaders in immunology. At this conference, attendees explore new technology and techniques available in their field, discuss the latest developments, and attend lectures from renowned scientists.
Four trainees were awarded the AAI Trainee Abstract Award. Recipients of this award present podium presentations. The selection of podium presenters at the conference is a highly competitive process. All applicants must submit a first-author abstract to be considered, and then, applications are reviewed by a committee of prominent scientists, Abstract Programming Chairs (APCs). According to AAI, “The APCs select outstanding abstracts for oral presentations at the meeting. This honor highlights exciting science.”
The following MIMG awardees received the AAI Trainee Abstract Award for their outstanding research:
Cindy Gan, “Sirt 1-mediated metabolic modulation of Aicda, class switch SNA recombination and somatic hypermutation.”
(Xiangya Medical School Exchange Program, Mentor: Paolo Casali, MD)
Allison Hester, “Catalase expression mediates redox regulation of autophagy and promiscuous gene expression in thymic stromal cells.”
(IBMS 2nd year, Mentor: Ann Griffith, PhD)
Helia Sanchez, “B cell-intrinsic epigenetic modulation of local and systemic antibody response by gut microbiota through catabolic short-chain fatty acids.”
(IBMS 4th year, Mentor: Paolo Casali, MD)
Hui Yan, PhD, “B lymphocytes are a major source of IL-27 that drives class-switched antibody responses and anti-viral immunity through paracrinic targeting of B cells and T follicular helper cells.”
(Postdoctoral Fellow, Mentor: Zhenming Xu, PhD)
In addition, two trainees received AAI travel awards for their exceptional visual displays. AAI Trainee Poster and Late-Breaking Poster awards are, also, reviewed by APCs and selected based on the innovation and merit of the presented research.
AAI Trainee Poster Award – Poster Presentation
Sergio Cepeda, “Increased antioxidant activity mitigates age-associated dysfunction of thymic stromal cells in aged mice.”
(IBMS 3rd year, Mentor: Ann Griffith, PhD)
AAI Late-Breaking Poster Award – Poster Presentation
Jesus Segovia, PhD, “CARDS toxin is critical for mediating the early inflammatory response during Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection.”
(Postdoctoral Fellow, Mentor: Joel Baseman, PhD)
All award recipients received reimbursement for meeting associated expenses, including registration, travel and lodging. Most importantly, they had the opportunity to present their cutting-edge research to worldwide, high-profile immunologists.
These trainees have not only been diligent in developing “exciting science” worthy of these awards, but they invested themselves into preparing for their exhibit and/or podium presentation. They have demonstrated true dedication to their research, which is not only recognized by the members of AAI, but also by the department and their proud mentors. Congratulations on a job well done!