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MEET YOUR WAO LEADERS

Mübeccel Akdis MD, PhD
Head of Immunodermatology
Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF)
Davos Platz, Switzerland
Member Society: Swiss Society of Allergology and Immunology (SSAI)
Member-at-Large, WAO Board of Directors
Co-Chair, WAO Committee on Immunotherapy and Immunomodulators

What inspired you to become more involved in WAO?
My inspiration to become involved in WAO has several bases. First, WAO is an umbrella organization that covers all the international societies and provides the platform to share developing knowledge in education, research and patient care in allergy asthma and immunology. WAO is a global organization whose members consist of 97 regional and national allergy, asthma and clinical immunology societies from around the world, which is a second reason to be involved. The aim of WAO IS to advance excellence in clinical care, research, education and training in allergy, which is the third reason.

What would you like to share about the work of your national member society?
The Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society for Allergology and Immunology will take place in St. Gallen together with Swiss Society of Pediatrics, June 1-2, 2017. The meeting will offer an outstanding educational and scientific program. Another meeting is World Immune Regulation Meeting (WIRM), which will take place in Davos from 15-18 March, 2017, and will provide 20 international travel grants.

What is one of your current special interests in the field of allergy/immunology?
My research interest is mechanisms of peripheral tolerance, which is a key immunological mechanism in healthy immune response to allergens, and is also well documented in autoimmunity, transplantation, cancer and infection. Our research has been focused on strategies for efficient prevention and curative treatment of allergic diseases and has exploited recent developments in identifying ways to cure allergic diseases. Extensive progress has been made in our understanding of the mechanisms of allergic diseases within the complex interaction of effector T cells, other effector cells, resident tissue cells and different subsets of Treg cells. Currently, our research has developed essential techniques and a specific niche to investigate human allergen-specific effector and regulatory B cells through several recent studies that we have published. In our research, human in vivo systems are continuously being investigated to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of disease development for better prevention and treatment.

References to most recent publications
IgG4 production is confined to human IL-10-producing regulatory B cells that suppress antigen-specific immune responses.
Mechanisms of immune tolerance to allergens: role of IL-10 and Tregs.
IL-10-overexpressing B cells regulate innate and adaptive immune responses.