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IMMpress Magazine
It is our pleasure to share with you the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto’s IMMpress Magazine. This outstanding student-run initiative serves to provide an exciting and informative way for us to communicate and engage with our colleagues, trainees and alumni. You can access the current issue IMMpress Magazine (http://www.immpressmagazine.com) - and it is also posted within U of T’s Department of Immunology website at http://www.immunology.utoronto.ca/about.htm.

Canadian Immunologists in the Media

August 22-27, 2010 - International Congress of Immunology - Kobe, Japan
The Canadian Society for Immunology awarded 15 student/PDF travel awards and three junior investigator awards to attend the meeting in Kobe, Japan, click here to see award winners. The meeting attracted 6,000 meeting registrants and include CSI members as chairs or giving talks at the meeting. The meeting was round out with fireworks and a laser show on the outside of one of the harbour hotel.

July 29, 2010: A breakthrough in tuberculosis research

Researcher discovers existing drugs can potentially target the disease’s ability to spread.

Often causing no symptoms in carriers of the disease, worldwide tuberculosis (TB) infects eight to ten million people every year, kills two million, and it is highly contagious as it is spread through coughing and sneezing. “It’s a global health disaster waiting to happen, even here in Canada, but this new paradigm in TB research may offer an immediate opportunity to improve vaccination and treatment initiatives,” explains Dr. Maziar Divangahi of McGill University and of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. Article available on the MUHC website.


June 8, 2008: PTEN functions to 'prioritize' chemotactic cues and prevent 'distraction' in migrating neutrophils.

Bryan Heit1, Stephen M Robbins2,3, Charlene M Downey4, Zhiwen Guan1, Pina Colarusso1, B Joan Miller4, Frank R Jirik4 & Paul Kubes1. Published in Nature Immunology 9, 743 - 752 (2008). Abstract: Neutrophils encounter and 'prioritize' many chemoattractants in their pursuit of bacteria. Here we tested the possibility that the phosphatase PTEN is responsible for the prioritization of chemoattractants. Neutrophils induced chemotaxis by two separate pathways, the phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI(3)K) phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) pathway, and the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, with the p38 pathway dominating over the PI(3)K pathway. Pten-/- neutrophils could not prioritize chemoattractants and were 'distracted' by chemokines when moving toward bacterial chemoattractants. In opposing gradients, PTEN became distributed throughout the cell circumference, which inhibited all PI(3)K activity, thus permitting 'preferential' migration toward bacterial products via phospholipase A2 and p38. Such prioritization was defective in Pten-/- neutrophils, which resulted in defective bacterial clearance in vivo. Our data identify a PTEN-dependent mechanism in neutrophils to prioritize, 'triage' and integrate responses to multiple chemotactic cues. Get the full paper here1Immunology Research Group, Institute of Infection and Immunity, University of Calgary, Canada. 2Department of Oncology, University of Calgary, Canada. 3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, Canada.4The McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health, University of Calgary, Canada.

April 27, 2007: Unlocking secrets of the immune system

Researchers are rapidly learning more about the different types of immune cells in our bodies and how they can affect our health. Experts in the University of Manitoba's department of immunology are studying a variety of immune-cell types, including B-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes, natural killer cells and neutrophils. Article by Dr. Aaron J. Marshall for the Winnipeg Free Press.

April 25, 2007: UBC research could help transplant recipients

A breakthrough that could lead to fewer rejections following organ transplants. UBC Professor Hermann Ziltener said that Vancouver researchers have isolated a special molecule that attracts cells to boost the immune system. The findings are contained in the journal Nature Immunology. Article in the CBC News.

January 22, 2007: Ebola vaccine saves half in post-exposure testing, tests show

An experimental Ebola vaccine developed in Winnipeg could eventually become the first treatment for people newly infected with the deadly virus. "The vaccine aims to tip the balance in favour of the immune system over the virus," said Dr. Steven Jones. Article in the CBC News.

December 15, 2006: Diabetes Breakthrough

Toronto scientists cure disease in mice. "Then we had the biggest shock of our lives," Dr. Dosch said. Almost immediately, the islets began producing insulin normally "It was a shock ? really out of left field, because nothing in the literature was saying anything about this." Article by Tom Blackwell in the National Post.

July 27, 2006: Critical Discovery Brings Toronto Based Researcher Closer To Creating Tailored T Cell Therapy For AIDS Patients

"For the first time we understand which sets of molecules are required to induce different types of T cells," says Canada Research Chair and principal investigator Dr. Juan Carlos Zuniga-Pflucker, a senior scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute who is also a professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto. Article in the Stem Cell Research News of the Medical News Today.

Recognized CSI Members

Congratulations to Dr. Marianna Newkirk and Immunology Montreal for receiving third place in the Day of Immunology 2009 competition held by the European Federation of Immunological Societies for raising public awareness of immunology. See acknowledgement letter here
Dr. Anne Croy has been elected as Co-vice Chair of the Reproductive Tract Biology Gordon Conference for 2010
and will co-chair the 2012 conference with Dr. Franco DeMayo, Baylor School of Medicine. This is the first time an
immunologist has led this meeting.

Dr. Tak Mak, wins Premiers Summit Award (April 25, 2007). Dr. Tak Mak, director of the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research has been awarded one of the first ever Premier’s Summit Awards in Medical Research. Read Press Release.


Dr. Chris Bleackley and his research team were recently awarded the 2005 Roche Diagnostics Award, which recognizes their record for outstanding discoveries in cellular biology over a number of years and is considered Canada’s top achievement in molecular research. Article by Steve Lillebuen in Express News at the University of Alberta.

Interesting Developments

Dr. Ziltener received a letter on October 15/07 from the Trade Policy Division (TMS) of the Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada regarding the coverage of Immunologists in Canada's future trade agreements. View this letter.



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