Africa has secured the winning bid to host the 2022 International Congress on Immunology (IUIS2022). It is the first time the Congress is being hosted in Africa and Cape town will welcome 6 000 delegates who are expected to bring a bounty of knowledge to the province.
Immunology continually delivers advances in basic and clinical research that affect the lives of billions worldwide. Vaccines save lives, especially among children, and anti-inflammatory drugs improve the quality of life of countless autoimmune disease patients.
The field is experiencing breakthroughs that promise to revolutionize vaccine treatments cancer for, auto immunity, allergy and immune deficiency treatment, and to improve the outcomes of transplantation.
Led by South African Immunology Society (SAIS) President and Professor of Immunology at UCT, Clive Gray and Federation of African Immunology Societies (FAIS) Secretary General Faith Osier (based at KEMRI-Welcome Trust in Kilifi, Kenya) , Cape Town’s hosting bid beat other major competing cities London, Paris, Toronto and Mexico City.
Prof. Osier, believes “It’s time for Africa! Our continent has numerous challenges but is also making incredible progress. The conference will leave a lasting legacy centred on scientific innovation that will spur on the next generation.”
IUIS President Prof. Mantovani is sure that “[hosting] IUIS2022 in Cape Town will bring together the best of immunology worldwide from basic science to translation, tackling global problems, ranging from veterinary health to human cancer, infection and degenerative diseases.”
Dr. Gerald Mkoji, the Ag. Director, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) said “The decision to host IUIS 2022 in Cape Town is historic, and the Meeting promises to be a memorable experience and a great opportunity for African Immunologists”.
Prof Philip Bejon, Director of KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, said “I’m delighted to see the IUIS conference coming to Africa in 2022 and especially pleased to see that Prof Faith Osier, an immunologist in KEMRI-Wellcome, will be co-chairing as Vice-President of IUIS”
Dr Melinda Suchard, Vice-President of the South African Immunology Society and Head of the Centre for Vaccines and Immunology at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases hopes that the conference will “better translate mechanistic research into real world vaccines and drugs sorely needed for diseases of public health importance”.
However bid co-Chair Prof. Clive Gray, took a moment to also remind us of the exciting work that lies ahead. “Our task will be to build a pre-conference legacy over the next six years by galvanizing the best minds on the continent and growing new minds to become part of the global immunology community. In 2022, we want to bring the world’s best and most exciting immunologists to Cape Town and task them to put their minds to the infectious disease burden in Africa and translate immunology to Human health.”
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris believes that the bid win “enhances Cape Town and the Western’s Cape appeal as a business events destination and will be a big boost for our local knowledge economy”.
CTICC Chief Executive Officer Julie-May Ellingson says that it is an honour to host such a high-calibre medical conference. “Securing such an event for Cape Town and Africa, was an enormous team effort between the CTICC, Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau and the local organising committee. The healthcare and medical sectors are well-represented in our forward book which reflects Cape Town’s growing profile as an academic and research hub. We look forward to working with the local organising committee to create a meaningful and exceptional event.”