WAO Message from the WAO President

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Greetings from the World Allergy Organization!

EAACI-WAO World Allergy and Asthma Congress 2013 – A great success!

From 22-26 June 2013, in Milan, Italy, 7,700 delegates gathered from over 90 countries for the XXIII World Allergy Congress held jointly with the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), the EAACI-WAO 2013 Congress. I would like to take this moment to highlight the many successes of this meeting and to thank those that made this successful Congress a reality.

The Congress began on Saturday, 22 June with a wide variety of Postgraduate Courses, the Primary Care Program, Nurses Program and the Italian National Program. These programs highlighted the importance of networking and learning with our colleagues in all stages of patient care. These programs were followed by an outstanding Opening Ceremony. I am still in debt to G. Walter Canonica, Local Organizing Chair (LOC) and WAO Historian, for overseeing several of the local logistics with the LOC and making one of my cultural dreams come true – having Maestro Andrea Bocelli perform four songs during the Opening Ceremony. It was truly an unforgettable experience! It was also a historic moment and matter of honor and great pleasure for me to share the Presidency of this joint Congress and to inaugurate the Congress together with Cezmi Akdis, EAACI President, a dear friend and colleague for 18 years.

WAO and EAACI also had the opportunity to highlight each organization’s activities during the Opening Ceremony and acknowledge our awardees. Once again I would like to extend our heartfelt Congratulations to all our awardees for their outstanding achievements and contributions in allergy, asthma and immunology. It was especially an honor to recognize Prof. Alain de Weck, a Past WAO President, posthumously for his legacy in allergy and immunology worldwide with the WAO Lifetime Achievement Award which was received by his son.

The scientific program continued on Sunday, 23 June until Wednesday, 26 June and offered 341 sessions presented by our distinguished Faculty of 425 speakers. I’m deeply grateful to Lanny Rosenwasser and Marek Jutel, Scientific Program Committee Chairs, for the fantastic and knowledgeable work they did in steering and organizing the scientific program with excellence until the very last minute. Under their leadership and direction, the Scientific Program Committee, with members from both organizations, worked hard to create an outstanding scientific program with a global representation truly representing the very mission of this joint Congress. The exciting scientific program carried through the Congress with Plenary Sessions, Parallel Symposia, Workshops, Poster Sessions, Oral Abstract Sessions and Hot Topics. The Congress provided a multidisciplinary forum for allergists, pulmonologists, ENTs, dermatologists, internists, pediatricians, gastroenterologists, clinical immunologists and primary care physicians. The Congress received 2,145 abstracts, which made it the ideal setting to share new and exciting information, as well as to provide our younger colleagues and junior members the opportunity to share their research on a global stage. One of the best personal moments I had was the opportunity to talk and interact with the junior members in the JMA Educational Session. Their enthusiasm and energy was so overwhelming.

In my address at the Opening Ceremony, I mentioned that “one person can make a difference to the world” and by that I meant a fruitful one-to-one interaction between individuals with dedication, collegiality, respect and a commitment towards a goal larger than oneself. This Congress was a true manifestation of that. This Congress wouldn’t have been a success without the hard work, team work, collegiality and dedication of a wide variety of people. First and foremost, I would like to thank Cezmi Akdis, Congress President and EAACI President, and the EAACI Executive Committee for their collegiality and friendship in hosting this Joint Congress. I would also like to express my heartfelt and deepest gratitude to each of the WAO Board of Director Members for all of their efforts towards making the Congress a great success in every way. This Congress has been in development over the past 6 years and reflects the commitment of the past WAO and EAACI Leadership in its early stages. It was my honor and privilege to acknowledge the WAO Past Presidents during the Presidential Dinner, whose legacy has brought us here today: Richard F. Lockey, G. Walter Canonica, Michael A. Kaliner, Carlos E. Baena-Cagnani, Allen P. Kaplan, S.G.O. Johansson, Albert K. Oehling and Terumasa Miyamoto. I was delighted to see that many of the Past Presidents could join us for the Congress and especially for the Presidential Dinner.

The Closing Ceremony took place on Wednesday, 26 June and provided a snap shot of the congress, an elegant band, Lanny Rosenwasser and Marek Jutel summarizing the basic and clinical highlights, G. Walter Canonica, Cezmi Akdis and I thanking everyone and the new EAACI President, Nikos Papadopolous, addressing the audience and closing the Congress. The Closing Ceremony also complemented the other Congress Social Events by once again providing attendees with a highly enjoyable musical performance. I would like to provide my special thanks to Ms. Michela Vuga for arranging these wonderful performances.

I would like to sincerely express my heartfelt gratitude on behalf of myself and the WAO Board to the Staff of WAO, EAACI and Congrex. They worked with professionalism and dedication. The one-to-one interaction at the level of Staff was fantastic and my deepest gratitude and heartfelt appreciation goes out to WAO Staff for working in such harmony with the EAACI and Congrex Staff and the gratitude to EAACI Staff for a collegial collaboration with ours.

Finally, thank you all, participants and friends from around the world – these meetings would not be possible without your commitment to advancing the fields of allergy, asthma and immunology. Your continuous thirst for high quality learning opportunities, scientific interactions, and presenting your work is what motivates us to hold such Congresses. We encourage you to be part of this life-long learning path that we all need to be part of and to let us know how we can improve these experiences for you.

WAO Symposium on Immunotherapy and Biologics, 13-14 December 2013, Chicago, IL, USA

The WAO Board will continue its many activities and one prime amongst them is the upcoming Symposium on Immunotherapy and Biologics from 13-14 December 2013 in Chicago. Don’t miss this first ever symposium on these very timely topics with state of the art and practical aspects in the current and emerging therapies.

The scientific program will consist of lectures from top international experts in the field as well as free communications that will be presented during the Poster Sessions. Our aim is to summarize what is scientifically known, learn about the cutting-edge research and to reach a consensus about the unmet needs of Immunotherapy and Biologics.


Important Dates & Deadlines

31 July 2013
Early Registration Rate Deadline

23 August 2013
Abstract Submission Deadline

Warmest regards,

Ruby Pawankar, MD, PhD
President, WAO