Immunology (BIO4300) students at AAI 2024 in Chicago, IL.
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Students from Professor Andrea Henle’s Immunology course attended the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Conference at McCormick Place on May 4 in Chicago, Ill.

This annual meeting of immunologists provided Carthage students with an opportunity to attend cutting-edge research talks on topics ranging from allergies to cancer, network with professional scientists, and gain insights on the latest research equipment and instrumentation in the field.

The students were part of the first ever annual Discovery Day for students at AAI, which was suggested by Prof. Henle with financial support for Carthage students provided by Ancell Corporation. AAI plans to continue offering Discovery Day at upcoming annual meetings by inviting immunology students from the local area surrounding the conference venue to attend the national meeting.

As part of Discovery Day, the class had lunch with Akiko Iwasaki, who is the president of AAI and a professor of immunobiology at Yale University. Prof. Iwasaki was recently named, after a nomination by Dr. Anthony Fauci, a TIME 100 person of the year for her work on developing new approaches to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Carthage students read and discussed one of Prof. Iwasaki’s research articles in class prior to meeting with her in person at AAI for a lunchtime Q&A session. Together, they discussed future plans and strategies for COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations, potential career paths in science, and ways to support women and underrepresented minorities in science.

As another part of Discovery Day, students participated in a guided tour through the poster sessions with AAI education committee members. The immunology students were able to apply their knowledge from their spring semester course directly at this conference by attending health and research-related seminars. For many of the students, this was their first time attending a national scientific conference.

Sponsoring Department, Office, or Organization:

Biology Department