Download the abstract book here:

The SYIS is pleased to announce its first SYIS Annual Symposium!
There will be interesting talks on Immunology from senior and young PIs based in Switzerland, in addition to three workshops on grant writing, public speaking and the transition from academia to industry. You can have a look at the program below.
There will be prizes for the 3 best posters, so make sure to submit your abstract!

Moreover, attendees can apply for a Swiss Society for Allergology and Immunology (SSAI) travel grant to fund their travel via this webpage.

This event is accredited as 0.5 day of continuing education for individuals working with animals.

Event at a glance:

When: 23 May 2022
Where: ETH Zentrum Audi Max
Registration deadline: 9 May 2022
Abstract submission deadline: 22 April 2022 9 May 2022
Registration fee:
– Free for registered SYIS members that are also members of the Swiss Society for Allergology and Immunology (SSAI).
– 30 CHF for non-SYIS/non-SSAI members – an invoice will be sent to you before the event.
If you want to sign up for the SYIS/SSAI, please click here. In case you have difficulties finding mentors, Dr. Daniela Latorre (SYIS) and Prof. Christian Münz (SSAI) have kindly accepted to act as mentors for all current SYIS members.

Federica Sallusto

One for all: cross-reactive t cells and antibodies to coronavirus


Abstract will be published soon

Milena Sokolowska

Rhinovirus-induced epithelial RIG-I inflammasome activation suppresses antiviral immunity and promotes inflammatory responses in virus-induced asthma exacerbations and COVID-19



Rhinoviruses (RV) and allergens, such as house dust mite (HDM) are major agents responsible for asthma exacerbations. The influence of pre-existing airway inflammation on the infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is largely unknown. Here, we described that RV infection in patients with asthma led to an excessive engagement of RIG-I with ASC and caspase-1 into inflammasome formation which diminished RIG-I accessibility for TBK1/IKKe/IFN-I/III responses, leading to their early functional impairment, delayed resolution, prolonged viral clearance and unresolved inflammation in vitro and in ivo. Pre-exposure to HDM augmented this phenomenon by priming for pro-IL-1b and auxiliary inhibition of early IFN-I/III responses. Prior infection with RV restricted SARS-CoV-2 replication, but co-infection augmented RIG-I inflammasome activation and epithelial inflammation. Timely inhibition of the epithelial RIG-I inflammasome and reduction of IL-1β signaling may lead to more efficient viral clearance and lower the burden of RV and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Laura Codarri



Checkpoint inhibitors targeting PD-1 have shown unprecedented clinical efficacy in several cancer types and therefore have revolutionized the standard of care. However, despite this advancement, only 20-30% of the patients derive durable benefit. 
In Roche we are developing several next generation PD1-based antibodies with different properties and mechanism of action. I will present a few approaches we used to simultaneously block PD-1 together with additional immune checkpoints. These molecules maintain tumor-specific T cell functionality and prevent tumor-escape. I will also present our seminal work on PD-1 targeting as a means to selectively deliver cytokines to tumor-specific T cells to drive their expansion, differentiation and anti-tumor activity.

Giuseppe Locatelli

In vivo dynamics of neuroinflammation


Pathologies such as multiple sclerosis and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis are characterized by chronic inflammation and concomitant neurodegeneration. Intravital imaging in the murine central nervous system is a powerful tool allowing to shed light on this complexity. In this talk, I will illustrate the functional dynamics of resident and invading immune cells, as well as the underlying damaging mechanisms affecting oligodendrocytes and myelin

Christian Münz

An Editor’s Guide to Scientific Publishing 


Christian Münz (EJI Executive Committee) will give writing tips and discuss what editors are looking for in a manuscript. Christian will also guide you through the peer review process with some examples of editorial decisions, and discuss any questions you may have in the dedicated Q&A section of this session. 

ETH Grant Office – Martine Vernooij and Ignaz Strebel

Principles of Grant Application – Tips and Tricks

Workshop 14.00-15.00

The ability to acquire research funding is an important building block of an academic career. A perfect proposal is not only scientifically excellent. There are a lot of other factors that influence the decision of an evaluation committee. In this workshop, we will have a look at frequent rejection reasons and discuss how these can be mitigated. Reflection on criticism can help you improve your own future proposals.

Crazy David

Presenting Scientific Topics with Confidence (and having fun with it!)

Workshop 14.00-15.00

This workshop provides you with 20 real-life, practical tips to instantly improve your public speaking skills.
Developed by the Swiss/American Entertainer and Cartoonist David Levine, this one-hour workshop will help you to rock your next presentation.
David Levine, “Crazy David” is a freelance cartoonist and entertainer. Born in the USA, he has lived in Bern since the early 1990’s, drawing caricatures for diverse media and private as well as corporate clients. David developed his public speaking skills through years of teaching Art and English to audiences between the ages of 4 and 99. At the end of this workshop, each participant will receive a free, signed comic-book containing all the public speaking tips.

Alberto Toso

Transition from academia to industry

Workshop 14.00-15.00

My journey from Academia to Biotech via “Big Pharma”: connecting the dots.
During the workshop we will discuss about choices, opportunities, doubts and myths that a young scientist has to face at early stage of his/her career.

Emma Slack

Gut feelings about Microbiota Engineering


When all is well in your gut microbiota, you will barely notice their existence, although these microbes carry out a wide range of functions critical to your health. When opportunistic species overgrow, or critical functions get lost, then these same microbes can make your life hell. In this talk we will explore the mechanisms that help to maintain healthy microbiome function and how immune mechanisms in the intestine can be manipulated to permit rational microbiota engineering.

Daniela Latorre

Autoreactive T cells in neurological disorders


The immune-mediated mechanisms underlying many neurological disorders in humans are far from clear and the development of effective treatments is still a big medical challenge. We employ recently established sensitive experimental approaches, based on the combination of in vitro cell-based screenings, flow cytometry analysis, generation of single cell clones and deep T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing, to isolate and characterize rare self-reactive T cells from the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients and healthy donors. In my talk, I will give you an overview of our recent findings on autoreactive T cell responses in human neurological diseases, such as narcolepsy and Guillain-Barré Syndrome. The overall aim of our research is to gain insights into the fundamental biological processes involved in human autoimmune responses and then translate those findings into biomedical applications.

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