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Editorial introductions

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: October 2009 - Volume 9 - Issue 5 - p vi–viii
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328331a61d
Editorial introductions
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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 13 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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Section Editors

Michael Kabesch

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Michael Kabesch was born in Salzburg, Austria and studied medicine at the University of Innsbruck, graduating in 1996. He is a Paediatrician, Allergologist and Paediatric Pulmonologist, trained at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. From 1998 to 2001 he spent his research fellowship in population genetics and molecular immunology at the respiratory sciences center of the University of Arizona, in Tucson, USA. Since 2009 Dr Kabesch has served as the Deputy Director for research at the clinic for paediatric pneumology and neonatology of the Hannover Medical School, Germany. He has a specific scientific interest in asthma and allergy genetics and coordinates asthma genetics in the German National Genome Research Network and participates in a number of large scale national and international research consortia, such as the EU funded GABRIEL project.

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Thomas Werfel

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Dr Werfel graduated from the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany, after having spent a year of training at Westminster Medical School, UK and University College Hospital London in 1985. He completed a residency in the Department of Clinical Immunology in Hannover Medical School, Germany between 1985 and 1987 and went on to gain a Postdoctoral fellowship from the Department of Immunology, University of Göttingen. He then completed a further five years residency at Hannover Medical School in the Department of Dermatology finishing in 1994. In 1994 he gained Board certification in Dermatology and Allergology.

Since July 1994, Dr Werfel has been Senior Physician at the Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Hannover. He also has a Board membership in Immunology. Since 2008 he has been Head of the Division of Immunodermatology and Allergy Research (Full Professorship) in the Department of Dermatology at Hannover Medical School.

Dr Werfel's research interests focus on eczema research (role of allergens including food allergens in atopic dermatitis, immunology of eczematous skin diseases, new therapeutical approaches in eczema therapy). He became Chairman of the Interested Group of Food Allergy of the European Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and member of the executive committee of the German Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI) in 2009.

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. Dr Werfel has been Speaker of the DFG-Research Training Course on the Regulation of the Allergic Response in Lung and Skin (nine projects) since 2006 which offers grants to international and national MD or PhD students at Hannover Medical School or the Fraunhofer Institute Hannover.

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Torsten Zuberbier

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Prof. Torsten Zuberbier was born in Hamburg, Germany, and attended medical school at Free University of Berlin, graduating in 1990.

His career began in 1990 at the Charité Virchow Clinics, Berlin, where in 1995 he became a senior physician at the Department of Dermatology. Prof. Zuberbier's research experience is in the domain of human mast cell differentiation and function. He is a member of numerous scientific bodies including the Editorial Board of the Journal of Allergy and the Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft, the advisory board of Allergo Journal; the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the Expert Commission ‘Novel Food’ of the German Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Member of the EAACI Dermatology Section, Executive Committee member of ARIA, and member of the World Allergy Organisation Communications Council.

Prof. Zuberbier is the Secretary General of the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN), Network of Excellence, Head of the Allergy-Centre-Charité and Co-Director at the Department of Dermatology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Since 2003 Prof. Zuberbier has also been Head of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF), Berlin.

His research cuts across several disciplines in experimental and clinical allergy, cell development and cancer research. A unifying theme of his experimental research is the focus on human mast cells (MC) and related cell types.

The main focus of his experimental research is human mast cell differentiation and functions as well as the interaction of human skin MC with physical stimuli such as UV-light.

The second major issue of the research interests is on cancer research. Topics include mastocytosis and MC leukemia development and treatment options, the role of MCs in the development of other types of skin tumors, as well as fundamental mechanisms underlying malignant transformation.

The clinical research focuses on urticaria, atopic eczema, inhalant and food allergies and allergic rhinitis. Several studies in the field of clinical allergy have been initiated and performed by the Allergy Centre Charité, among others the world-wide largest epidemiological study assessing the prevalence of food allergy.

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Stefano Bonini

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Professor Stefano Bonini was born in Rome on the 10th April, 1953. He graduated in 1977, specialized in Ophthalmology in 1981 and Clinical Allergology and Immunology in 1984 at the University of Rome La Sapienza. 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. Between 1984 and 2002 he held the position of associate professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. Since 1997 he has been Scientific Director of the G. B. Bietti Foundation. His present position is Professor and Chairman in Ophthalmology at the University of Rome ‘Campus Bio-Medico’.

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Leonard Bielory

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Dr Bielory attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he completed his B.S. in engineering (Fundamental Science) and a Masters in molecular biology (1976); M.D. degree from UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School (from 1976 to 1980); internal medicine training at the University of Maryland Hospital; subspecialty training in allergy and immunology and diagnostic laboratory immunology at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 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 UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School where he is presently Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Ophthalmology where he directed the only training program in allergy and immunology in the State of New Jersey for 20 years. 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, 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 his role as an Associate Editor of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, committee chairs for various committees in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, past chairman of the National Institutes of Health 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 vice chair. Dr Bielory presently sits on two United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) Council of Experts Committees (Immunology as well as Respiratory and Allergy). He was an original member of the recently convened USP Medicare Model Formulary Committee mandated by the United Stated Congress. He has successfully completed over 80 clinical research studies in asthma, allergic and rare immunologic disorders. Active research focuses on new immune treatments for asthma and a rare disorder known as hereditary angioedema. 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.

Administratively, Dr Bielory has been involved in the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School University Hospital since 1985 with the establishment of the Division of Allergy and Immunology in the Department of Medicine. Since 1985 he has become intricately involved in the UMDNJ health care system as represented by election to President of UH Medical Staff 1990–1992; UHC Board of Trustees 1995 – Present, and Acting Medical Director for UHC, 1996 to present; UPA Board of Trustees 1989–2002: UPA Executive Committee 1993–2000, UPA President, 1996–2000. During his tenure as President of UPA and with training he received at the Harvard Business School, he has infused UPA with a sense of direction and helped build a strong administrative organization and infrastructure that will help the New Jersey Medical School faculty and each department to continue to grow and prosper. Dr Bielory had also been appointed to sit on several national advisory boards related to the health care industry including the Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the National Advisory Board of the National Managed Health Care Congress.

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