Sponsoring Promising Scientists at the Autumn Immunology Conference

Sponsoring Promising Scientists at the Autumn Immunology Conference

Held in Chicago, IL, the autumn Autoimmunology Conference 2018 was an opportunity for ANRF to foster one of their important objectives – the sponsorship and support of young innovative researchers. For more than four decades this conference has provided a collaborative platform that allows experienced researchers to guide students, ensuring mentorship at this critical early phase in their research careers.

The first evening of the conference accommodated the keynote address, given by Dr Emil Unanue, Washington University. Dr Unanue’s work initiated a significant field of study in immunology – antigen presentation. Preceding this esteemed lecture were the presentations of the awards, including the ANRF travel awards.

ANRF co-sponsored the attendance of three researchers, making it possible for the awardees to not only attend the conference but present the results of their research as well. These awards are fundamental in providing these young scientists the support necessary to publish their work and allow them the otherwise missed opportunity to interact with and learn from the more experienced speakers attending the conference.

The recipients of the prestigious award were:

  • Marilyn Allen: A student pursuing a PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at University of Maryland. Her research focus is the engineering of immune cells with biomolecules that enhance their activity in immunosuppressive environments. At the AIC 2018 she presented work entitled -Targeted antimalarial delivery to inflammatory cells driving lupus pathogenesis


  • Michael Magnuson, Midwestern University: Effect of increased lymphatic circulation on rat adjuvant-induced arthritis


  • Aakanksha Jain: Center holds a Bachelor of Technology from the National Institute of Technology, India and joined University of Texas Southwestern Medical as a graduate student in 2012. At the AIC 2018 she presented her research on T cell intrinsic IL-1R signalling licenses effector cytokine production by memory CD4 T cells.


The AIC is a trainee-focused conference which is uniquely structured to aid under and graduate students in furthering their education in the area of immunology whilst accommodating an extensive program of plenary sessions fostering an exchange of ideas between established researchers. The 2018 conference was chaired by Dr Rafael Fernandez-Botran, an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Louisville.

Finally, ANRF is indebted to the work of Dr Richard Dipaolo, a professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at St. Louis University. Dr Dipaolo is an ANRF scholar, member of the executive committee of AIC and the liaison to sponsors for the AIC. In this role he perfectly demonstrates the return on investment in researchers by ANRF. As a previous recipient of support by ANRF he was aware of the important role the foundation has to play in raising the next generation of researchers in this field, and was instrumental in creating the collaborations with the award winners mentioned above. Dr Zaher Nahle, the executive director ANRF, was able to attend AIC 2018, sign the certificates and meet with colleagues, further fostering these key relationships with ANRF alumni and future talent in the field.

For more information and to stay up to date with future AIC dates please visit: https://autumnimmunologyconference.org/


Drs. Nahle and Dipaolo (Back) with awardees (Right to left) Michael Magnuson, Marilyn Allen, and Aakanksha Jain.


Poster session at the Autoimmunology conference.


ANRF-AIC Travel Award Certificates


Dr. Rafael Fernandez-Botran, Conference Chair introducing keynote speaker, Dr. Unanue


Conference in session

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Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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