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Editorial introductions

Section Editor(s): Laprise, Catherine; Bouzigon, Emmanuelle; Werfel, Thomas; Zuberbier, Torsten; Bielory, Leonard; Bonini, Stefano

Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology: October 2013 - Volume 13 - Issue 5 - p v–vii
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328365ba72
Editorial introductions

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology was launched in 2001. It is one of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The fields of allergy and clinical immunology are divided into 14 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Journal's Section Editors for this issue.

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Catherine Laprise

Dr Catherine Laprise has been Professor at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), Canada, Fundamental Science Department since 2000. She is a member of AllerGen: the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network - a national multidisciplinary research network supporting research, networking, commercialization, knowledge mobilization and capacity building activities that contribute to reducing the morbidity, mortality and socio-economic impact of allergic disease. AllerGen is a member of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE).

Dr Laprise is also a member of the scientific committee of the Québec Respiratory Network (QRN) of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) where she directs the Inflammation and Remodeling Strategic Group. She holds a Canada Research Chair on Genetic Determinants in Asthma and has done since January 2005.

She is particularly concerned about knowledge transfer and participated in the development and production of several popularization tools on genetics (exhibitions, video, pamphlets, etc.) and was on the administrative committee of the Corporation de Recherche et d’Action sur les Maladies Héréditaires (CORAMH) for eight years. She is also involved in knowledge transfer through the Committee of the QRN-FRSQ.

Her research is mainly focused on the identification of genetic variants in asthma, on gene-gene and gene-environment interactions and on the study of the functions of these genes and their roles in asthma. She has built and manages the French-Canadian Asthma Familial Collection and she has conducted several genetic associations (replication and novel associations) that contributed to documenting the genetics of asthma. Her research helped define the expression profiling of allergic asthma from bronchial tissues and characterizing the functional genetics of some associated genes. The ultimate objective of her research program is to integrate “omics sciences” (genomics, genetics, transcriptomics, epigenetics and proteomics) to better define the molecular nature of asthma, especially allergic asthma, in order to develop personalized diagnostic and therapeutic tools for asthmatic individuals. She also works on several projects pertaining to monogenic diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa simplex and French Canadian type of Leigh syndrome.

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Emmanuelle Bouzigon

Dr Emmanuelle Bouzigon, M.D., Ph.D., is a researcher at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), France. She initially attended medical school at Bordeaux University, France, graduating in 2001, as Medical Doctor in Public Health. She completed her PhD thesis in Genetic Epidemiology at Université Paris-Sud in 2005. She completed a one year research fellowship with the European Network of Excellence Ga2len (Global Allergy and Asthma European Network) in the Department of Genetic Epidemiology, King‘s College London, UK, where she coordinated a meta-analysis of genome-wide linkage screens for asthma-related phenotypes at the international level. She has been a Research Associate at the INSERM unit of Genetic Variation and Human Diseases, located at CEPH-Fondation Jean Dausset, Paris, France since 2007 and a member of the board of the French Society of Human Genetics (SFGH) since 2008.

She has developed a research programme on the genetic determinants of asthma and asthma-associated phenotypes in the French Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma (EGEA) study and European studies, and participates in a number of large scale national and international research groups. Her research interests include the study on gene environment interaction aspects and epigenetic mechanisms.

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Thomas Werfel

Professor Werfel is an MD and spent four years as a post-doc in basic immunology before he began his residency at Hannover Medical School, Germany, in the Department of Dermatology. In 1994 he gained Board certification in Dermatology and Allergy and also has a Board membership in Immunology.

Since 2008 Professor Werfel has been Head of the Division of Immunodermatology and Allergy Research (Full Professorship) and in addition, the Vice Director of the Department of Dermatology and Allergy at Hannover Medical School.

Professor Werfel's research interests focus on chronic inflammatory skin diseases including atopic dermatitis (e.g. role of allergens, microbial antigens and autoantigens in atopic dermatitis, immunology of eczematous skin diseases, new therapeutical approaches in atopic dermatitis). He is currently a member of the Executive Committees of the European Society of Dermatological Research (ESDR), the European Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and is Vice President of the Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI).

From 1992 he has continuously received research grants from the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” (DFG) and from various research foundations and received several awards for his work in allergy and inflammation research.

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Torsten Zuberbier

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h. c. Torsten Zuberbier is Managing Director at the Department of Dermatology, Venereology & Allergy, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, and holds the honorary doctorate from the University of Athens, Greece. Furthermore, Prof. Zuberbier is the Secretary General of the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN) - Network of Excellence as well as the spokesperson of the Allergie-Centrum-Charité in the Dermatology Clinic of the Charité in Berlin Mitte. Since 2003 Prof. Zuberbier has been the Head of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF), Berlin, Germany.

His career began in 1990 at the Virchow Clinics, Free University of Berlin, Germany, where in 1995 he became a senior physician at the Dept. of Dermatology. His clinical research focuses on urticaria, atopic eczema, inhalant and food allergies and allergic rhinitis. His research experience is in the domain of human mast cell differentiation and function as well as in clinical allergology with a focus on urticaria, food- and inhalant allergies. He has published more than 300 papers and he is a member of numerous scientific bodies among which: the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology and the Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft (JDDG); the advisory board of Allergo Journal; the Executive Committee of the German Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology; the Expert Commission “Novel Food” of the German Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Executive Committee member of ARIA and member of the World Allergy Organisation Communications Council.

Prof. Zuberbier was born in 1962 and lives with his family on the outskirts of Berlin, Germany.

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Leonard Bielory

Dr Bielory attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, where he completed his B.S. in Engineering (Fundamental Science) and a Masters in Molecular Biology (1976); M.D. degree from Rutgers University (previously UMDNJ) - New Jersey Medical School, USA, (1976–1980); internal medicine training at the University of Maryland Hospital, USA; subspecialty training in allergy and immunology and diagnostic laboratory immunology at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, as a medical staff fellow in the – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) where his research focus has been on the classic immune complex disorder – serum sickness. He was recruited back to his alma mater to direct the Division of Allergy and Immunology at the Rutgers University (previously UMDNJ) - New Jersey Medical School where he has been for 25 years as Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Ophthalmology and directed the only training program in Allergy and Immunology in the State of New Jersey for 20 years. He is presently appointed as a Research Professor to the Rutgers University Center of Environmental Prediction. He is consistently selected as one of New Jersey and New York “Top Docs” in the New Jersey and New York metropolitan area surveys for the past 20 years. He has published several hundred publications in peer-reviewed journals, presently serves as an Associate Editor of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, serves on several other editorial boards and as a reviewer for multiple journals. He continues to serve in various capacities in a variety of national organizations including as a member of the Board of Directors for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), multiple committee chairs for various committees in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) and ACAAI, World Allergy Organization, past Chairman of the NIH – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Raynaud's Treatment Trial; the program chairman for the ACAAI International Symposium on Complementary Interventions in Treatment of Asthma and Allergy; reviewer for the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Centers (NCCAM) of Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CERC). He has been appointed by the Governor of New Jersey to sit on the Clean Air Council advisory to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and is presently its chair of the recent annual public hearing on Climate Change. Dr Bielory has participated on two United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) Council of Experts Committees (Immunology as well as Respiratory and Allergy). He was an original member of the USP Medicare Model Formulary Committee mandated by the United Stated Congress. He is an international expert in inflammatory disorders of the anterior portion of the eye – especially various forms of ocular allergy and is a regional expert on pollen and climate change. He has successfully completed over 50 clinical research studies in asthma and allergic disorders. Active research focuses on new immune treatments for asthma and a rare disorder known as hereditary angioedema. He has been recently awarded an US Environmental Protection Agency grant as the Principal Investigator focusing on Climate and Allergic Airway Disease that has supported the March 2011 publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Climate Change and Ragweed Pollination with several other publications on climate change under review.

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Stefano Bonini

Professor Stefano Bonini was born in Rome in 1953. He graduated in 1977, specialized in Ophthalmology in 1981 and Clinical Allergology and Immunology in 1984 at the University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy. During a fellowship of three years at the Eye Research Institute of Boston, Harvard Medical School, USA, he concentrated on the study of ocular immunology and allergology. His primary interest is the study of corneal and conjunctival diseases, particularly regarding inflammatory pathologies. His present position is Professor and Chairman in Ophthalmology and Director of the residents school of Ophthalmology at the University of Rome ‘Campus Bio-Medico’ Italy.

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