The IL-1 family is now known to comprise 11 members. Three of these – the agonists IL-1F6, IL-1F8, and IL-1F9, are expressed in only a limited set of human tissues, prominent among which is skin. These cytokines are strongly upregulated in human psoriasis. Overexpression of IL-1F6 in mouse epidermis results in a skin disease with many of the hallmarks of human psoriasis at both the histological and molecular level. Agents effective in treating human psoriasis also ameliorate skin inflammation in the transgenic mouse.
One or more of IL-1F6, IL-1F8 and IL-1F9 are important in human psoriasis for maintenance of the disease phenotype. In light of the recent information regarding their activity, the IL-1 family nomenclature has been revised so that these cytokines are now called IL-36 alpha (IL-1F6), IL-36 beta (IL-1F8), IL-36 gamma (IL-1F9), and IL-36Ra (IL-1F5).
John Sims group’s primary focus at Amgen is investigation of the biological roles of members of the IL-1 and TNF families. Prior to Immunex’s acquisition by Amgen, Dr. Sims was Vice President of Molecular Biology at Immunex. Dr. Sims has published over 75 research papers as well as more than 25 review articles, mostly in the area of IL-1 and IL-1 family biology, and is an inventor on over 40 US and European issued patents.
The 9th Cytokine and Inflammation Conference will cover ever-important topics such as the TNF family, the inflammasome, chemokines, costimulation and innate immunity. In addition, timely coverage will be devoted to areas of current rapid expansion, such as the IL-17 and Th17 fields and JAK/STAT kinases, at a time when phase 2 and even phase 3 studies are being conducted and reported in these areas. Intriguing recently discovered cytokines, such as IL-25, novel alarmins and novel IL-1 family members will also be covered.
As usual, poster sessions and opportunities for networking will complement the great roster of distinguished speakers. The organizations participating are a great selection of innovative medical organizations from academia (NIH, UCLA, UCSD, Cleveland Clinic, La Jolla Institute, Virginia Commonwealth U, U Mass, City of Hope, Scripps, Barts and the London), industry (Amgen, Pfizer, MedImmune, Novartis, Centocor/Johnson and Johnson, Biogen Idec, Incyte, Genentech, Genzyme, Chemocentryx) and last but not -by any means- least, the US FDA.
With a 50-50 mix of academic and industry authoritative experts, the conference will cover many current and relevant aspects of cytokine biology from their respective angles. If your work focuses on basic, translational or fully developmental cytokine biology and its applicability to human health, I encourage you to attend this conference which promises to be a fertile ground for scientific exchange and collaboration.
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