Junior Member News - March 2012

Congratulations to WAO Junior Members on Our First Anniversary!

Luciana Kase Tanno, MD
Hospital Servidor Público Estadual of São Paulo
PhD student of University of São Paulo


This first anniversary of the WAO Junior Members Group is an occasion for reflection about our progress to-date and our expectations for the future.

The first Steering Committee was established one year ago at WAO meetings that were held during the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) meeting in San Francisco. At this time, there were just a few but passionate people, and since then the group has expanded to 160 members from all around the world! The great new is that since the XXII World Allergy Congress (WAC 2011) in December, only 3 months later, more 45 members joined us!

After a long and intense preparation, WAC 2011 in Cancún provided us with a great opportunity to meet each other in person, network and participate in special activities for juniors. The Congress had a very special meaning for us because, from that time forward, the WAO Junior Members Group became official. After a long time of virtual contact between all members, the group was developing an identity. It was so impressive that although we had members from many different countries, with very different cultural backgrounds, we discovered that we shared much in common in ideas, enthusiasm, and perspectives – especially the belief that we can put our ideas into practice and work hard with all WAO representatives to make our specialty stronger. I was very proud of having the opportunity to be part of this inaugural occasion.

Presently, our group is very well represented by Dr. Sylvia Sánchez-García and Dr. Mateo Bonini, the Co-Chairs, along with Prof. Ignacio Ansotegui, the Senior Advisor to the Junior Members Group from the WAO Board of Directors, a connection we value and appreciate. Junior Members will now have opportunities to participate in WAO Councils, Committees and Working Groups, depending on our topics of interest and our skill sets.

We have many plans for this second year, especially activities that will be part of the 2nd WAO International Scientific Conference (WISC 2012) in December in Hyderabad, India. In addition, because of the opportunities to become more closely involved in WAO initiatives we will be able to help develop allergy/immunology (A/I) resources for all of WAO’s constituents and others interested in A/I.

I would say that we now are a big family, as WAO Junior Members, and we warmly welcome all who meet the criteria to join us and get connected. Any level of participation is welcome!

Of course, all this would never had happened without the support of Prof. Ruby Pawankar, WAO President, along with Prof. Ignacio Ansotegui and Prof. Paul Potter, who helped us turn the idea of a group into a reality, and Prof. Richard Lockey, the WAO Executive Committee and Board of Directors and WAO staff who encouraged us to move forward with our ideas, provided us with the resources to do so, and gave us the chance to get involved in the process.

Again, Happy Anniversary, and Congratulations to all the WAO Junior Members!

Let’s get ready to meet in India!