Junior Members News - December 2011

By Sylvia Sánchez-García, MD
Co-Chair, WAO Junior Members Group

Congratulations to WAO Junior Members for a Successful Meeting in Cancún!

After so many months of waiting, finally it was time for the World Allergy Congress in Cancún, México. For the World Allergy Organization members at large, this was the XXII Congress, but for the WAO Junior Members Group, this meeting had a special meaning in the sense that it was our very first Congress as a formal group.

Much excitement, many nerves and feelings, and lots of preparations were part of just four days of meeting. We programmed several activities. The first one was an informal meeting of the WAO Junior Members on the first day of the Congress. This was a heart warming experience, because after exchanging so many e-mails, we could finally meet each other in person. And afterwards, following a “junior” spirit, we enjoyed the most delightful dinner discussing objectives and sharing not only projects, but also Mexican food, laughs and jokes! It was a good way to get to know each other and network during the Congress.

Our highlighted scientific activity was the WAO Junior Members Symposium. Attendees had the chance to have a “spoonful” of every topic in allergy – from Immunotherapy to Food Allergy, Pediatric Allergy, Respiratory Allergy, and Skin Allergy. Dr. Matteo Bonini and I were honored by the opportunity to be chairpersons and introduce five speakers who gave fantastic talks with outstanding skill in speaking the English language. One of the most important goals in our planning for the Congress, to demonstrate the scientific level of knowledge among the WAO Junior Members, was achieved. As a member of the audience listening to their talks, I felt really proud to be a WAO Junior Member.

A WAO Junior Member Abstract reception was held in the Auditorium of the Cancún Center. Several posters that had been submitted by juniors and selected by the Scientific Program Committee were presented during this special event. World allergy experts in every field voted the best of them, and the authors were awarded during the reception. To view a list of the winning abstract authors, click here.

After the intensive stay in Cancún, I can only say two words: THANK YOU! Thank you particularly to Prof. Ruby Pawankar, WAO President-Elect, who kindly attended our business meeting and warmly welcomed us. Thanks to Prof. Ignacio Ansotegui and Prof. Paul Potter, real group developers. Thanks to Prof. Richard Lockey and the WAO Executive Committee and Board of Directors for giving us the chance to get involved in the organization. Thanks to WAO staff (Sofia, Becky, Katie and Jennie) for all of their support. I would like especially to thank Karen Henley, who has worked hard beside us and did a fantastic job orientating us in our effort. Finally, of course, thanks to all of you, the WAO Junior Members. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being so enthusiastic. Thank you for making the dream of our group become a reality.

We now have a face, a person, a colleague behind an e-mail address. To see some of those faces, click here. And we have so many other young allergists who could not attend the Congress, but who bring the same energy to our mission as those who were present in Cancún. We are ready now to plan our next year while waiting to meet each other again in person!

WAO Junior Members: Let’s roll up our sleeves and begin to work. We have seen what our group efforts can accomplish.

Merry Christmas to all of you and my best wishes for 2012!