B Cells From Bedside To Bench And Back Again

B cells are lymphocytes that play a key role in the immune response.

A principal function of B cells is to differentiate into plasma cells that secrete antibodies against exogenous antigens, and into memory B cells that retain the memory of the encounter against future challenges. However, the advent of B cell depletion therapies, originally developed against B cell malignancies, has revolutionised the way we see the role of the B cell. Observations from the clinical use of agents such as Rituximab have resulted in the recognition that B cells have extremely important effector and regulatory roles other than antibody provision. If we use this information to increase our understanding of B cell biology we may well be able to take innovative solutions back into the clinic to complete the translational cycle. The control of B cell development and homeostasis is the result of a very fine balance between production, survival, and proliferation which is impacted by key survival factors. B cells are found in specialized niches that provide such factors. As our appreciation of the multifunctional nature of the B cell grows, so does the requirement for knowledge of factors affecting the proper control and development of the B cell.

The tools at our disposal for investigating biomedical issues are becoming ever more sophisticated, with high throughput sequencing enabling many repertoire studies that were otherwise impossible, high resolution imaging of cellular and subcellular compartments facilitating the visualisation of spatial organisation in unprecedented detail, and a genomics revolution that opens our eyes to new concepts such as cell-cell transfer of miRNA, or protein variation due to transcriptional mutation.

In this conference we will bring together eminent clinicians, biologists, mathematicians, biophysicists to discuss the explosion of paradigm-shifting discoveries in B cell biology and their relevance to healthy immunity.

Conference format:

lectures by invited high level speakers
short talks by young & early stage researchers
poster sessions, round table and open discussion periods
forward look panel discussion about future developments
+ show speakers and program
Preliminary Programme

Monday 2 September

17:00–19:00 Registration at the ESF Desk
19.00 Welcome Drink
20:00 Dinner

Tuesday 3 September

08:45-09:00 Opening Remarks
Deborah Dunn-Walters, Kings' College London School of Medicine, UK

Session I - B cells in disease, questions to answer

09:00-09:45 CLL and Autoimmunity
Federico Caligaris-Cappio, University Scientific Institute San Raffaele, IT
09:45-10:30 B cells and Autoimmune diseases, SLE
Nathalie Bonnefoy-Berard, Université de Lyon, FR
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-11:45 Environmental factors affecting chronic inflammatory disease
Ludvig Sollid, University of Oslo, Norway
11:45-12:30 Role of B cells in atherosclerosis
Marc De Buyzere, Ghent University Hospital, BE
12:30 Lunch

Session II - Reverse Translation: Revelations from the bedside

14:30-15:15 Vaccination-derived insights into human B cell memory
Antonio Lanzavecchia, Institute for Research in Biomedicine, CH
15:15-16:00 What can Rituximab tell us about B cell function?
Andrew Chan, Genentech, USA
16:00-16:30 Coffee break
16:30-17:15 Insights from mathematical analyses of autoimmune and inflammatory disease
Ramit Mehr, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
17:15-18:00 Regulatory B cells in SLE
Claudia Mauri, University College London, Windeyer Institute, UK
19:00 Dinner
20:30 - 21:30 Keynote Speaker
Effector and regulatory B cells
Frances Lund, University of Rochester, Rochester, USA

Wednesday 4 September

Session III - Regulation and communication
Chair: Conrad Mullineaux, Queen Mary, University of London, UK

09:00 - 09:45 Regulatory B cells
Richard Lo-Man, Institut Pasteur, FR
09:45-10:30 Regulatory networks
Frank Emmert-Streib, Queen's University Belfast, IE
10:30-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-11:45 B cell regulation of TFH production
Padraic Fallon, Trinity College Dublin, IE
11:45-12:30 Exosomes, friend or foe
Lucia Mincheva-Nilsson, Umeå University, SE
12:30-14:30 Lunch

Session IV - Short talks from early career stage researchers

14:30-14:50 Short talks from early career stage researchers
14:50-15:10 Short talks from early career stage researchers
15:10-15:30 Short talks from early career stage researchers
15:30-15:50 Short talks from early career stage researchers
15:50-16:30 Coffee break
16:30-16:50 Short talks from early career stage researchers
16:50-17:10 Short talks from early career stage researchers
17:10-17:30 Short talks from early career stage researchers
17:30-17:50 Short talks from early career stage researchers
19:00 Dinner
20:30-21:30 Keynote speaker
Spatial organisation of B cell signals
Facundo Batista, London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, UK
21:30 Informal careers discussion for young researchers
Ramit Mehr

Thursday 5 September
Session V - New insights into antibody function

09:00-09:45 The importance of being IgM
Rita Carsetti, University of Tor Vergata, IT
09:45-10:30 Natural antibodies in their niche
Jo Spencer, Guy's Hospital, UK
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-11:45 IgD and Inflammation
Andreas Cerutti, Barcelona Biomedical Research Park, Barcelona, ES
11:45-12:30 Metallobodies- anti-metalloprotease inhibitory antibodies exhibiting potential use in therapy of invasive diseases
Irit Sagi, The Weizmann Institute of Science,Israel
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30 Half-day Excursion
19:00 Dinner
20:30-21:30 Poster session A
21:30-22:30 Poster session B

Friday 6 September
Session VI - B cell microenvironment- regulation of differentiation, survival and function

09:00-09:45 Stromal cells for survival at developmental checkpoints
Stephane Mancini, Faculté des Sciences de Luminy, FR
09:45-10:30 How bone marrow checkpoints affect the repertoire
Deborah Dunn-Walters, Guy's Hospital, UK
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-11:45 3D Fate decisions of mature B cells
Ken Duffy, Hamilton Institute, Ireland
11:45-12:00 Regulation of B cell survival by its microenvironment in health and disease
Idit Shachar, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
12:30-14:30 Lunch
14:30-15:15 Accessory cells for plasma cell survival
Claudia Berek, DRFZ, DE
15:15-16:00 Suppression of B cells by iNKT
Mikael Karlsson, Karolinska Institutet, SE
16:00-16:30 Coffee break
16:30-17:15 Interaction of B:T cells in the germinal centers
Pamela Schwartzberg, National human genome research institute, USA
17:15-18:00 Forward Look and Conference Close
Idit Shachar

Saturday 7 September
Breakfast and Departure

2 Sep - 7 Sep 2013
meeting website