ALAI/SMI Special Video Interviews


The XII congress of the Latin American Association of Immunology (ALAI) and XXIII congress of the Mexican Society of Immunology (SMI) was held in May in Cancun, Mexico, under the slogan “Latin American Immunologists Fighting Disease”. The congress provided a platform for attendees, ranging from renowned senior immunologist to undergraduate and graduate students, representing diverse fields of immunology to interact and share recent discoveries.

Immunopaedia Ambassadors, Juan Carlos Balandrán and Jennifer Enciso Immunopaedia took some time during the conference to interview prominent researchers: Alberto Mantovani, Alberto Orfao,  Gabriel Rabinovich and Paul Frennette who attended the ALAI-SMI conference.

Alberto Mantovani


Position: Scientific Director of HumanitasClinical and Research Center, Italy. Professor of Experimental Medicine and Patophysiology, School of Medicine, State University of Milan, Italy.

Dr. Mantovani received his M.D. from University of Milan and his specialty in oncology at the University of Pavia. He has worked as investigator and professor at multiple institutions such Instituto “Mario Nigri”, the State University of Brescia and the State University of Milan.

Dr. Mantovani’s research is focused on tumor biology, specially on unraveling mechanisms of innate immunity implicated in the inflammation-cancer connection. He identified the cell population with pro-tumoralfunction known as tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). This discovery led to the description of the Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-1 (MCP1) as tumor-derived chemotactic factor. In the context of this interest in inflammatory cytokines he also identified the IL-1 type 2 receptor as an IL1 decoy.

Interview by Juan Carlos Balandrán

Alberto Orfao


Affiliation: Cancer Research Center, University of Salamanca, Spain. Member of the European Group for the Immunological characterization of leukemias.

Dr. Orfao holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery from University of Salamanca (1984) and from the Nova University of Lisbon (1985), and obtained his PhD in 1987 from the University of Salamanca. He is currently Professor and Director of the General Cytometry Service of the University of Salamanca. His activities focus on research within the clinical area and specially in the field of the immune system and cancer, as demonstrated by more than 100 publications in international journals during the last five years. Among other positions Dr. Orfaohas been president of the Iberian Society of Cytometry (1995-1999), chairman of the Committee of Standardization in Clinical Flow Cytometry (The Standardization Committee on Clinical Flow Cytometry of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry) of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry (1994-1997). He is currently a Member of the European Leukemia Characterization Group (European Group for the Immunological characterization of leukemia).

Interview by Juan Carlos Balandrán



Gabriel Rabinovich


Dr. Rabinovich received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Cordoba and obtained a post-doctoral position in the Immunogenetics Division at the University of Buenos Aires. He is senior investigator of the National Research Council (CONICET) and Head of the Laboratory of Immunopathology at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine (IByME), Deputy director of IByME and Professor at the University of Buenos Aires. He recently entered the National Academy of Sciences, USA. Ravinovich Lab focuses on studying galectin-glycan interactions and how they play a role in the regulation of the immune response. His lab works in glycoscience and immunobiology for the development of novel therapeutic targets in inflammation, autoimmunity and cancer.

Interview by Jennifer Enciso


Paul Frenette


Position: Chair and Director, The Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research. Profesor of the Department of Medicine (Hematology) and Cell Biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Dr. Frenette received his medical degree from Laval University and his internal medicine residency training was at McGill University, both in Quebec, Canada. He did a fellowship in Hematology-Oncology at Tuft’s New England Medical Center and a research training at Harvard Medical School and MIT. He has served on the regulation of the trafficking of HSCs and also that these celklshave a circadian rhythmicity release. Besides, his group is also evaluating if traffic paradigms that have been discovered from healthy HSC apply to cancer initiation and metastasis.

Interview by Juan Carlos Balandrán

International Union of Immunological SocietiesUniversity of South AfricaInstitute of Infectious Disease and Molecular MedicineElizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation