On June 14th–16th , the international immunology summer school "ABC7: Autoimmunity, B cells and Complement" was held at the Viru Conference Center in Tallinn, organized by University of Tartu and University of Helsinki, the Estonian Society for Immunology and Allergology (EIAS), the Nordic Complement Committee (NCC), and the European Federation of Immunology Societies (EFIS). In addition, the Nordic Council of Ministers (Norden) also supported the summer school. Similar events have been organized by the immunologists of the University of Tartu since 1994, and this summer school was the seventh in a row. The Department of Immunology and the Molecular Pathology Research Group of the Department of Biomedicine participated as organizers from the University of Tartu.
The invited lecturers were top experts in the field of autoimmunity, B cells and complement. The presentations of keynote speakers Seppo Meri (University of Helsinki) and Burchard Becher (University of Zurich) were particularly memorable. Meri presented disorders of the complement system in several common chronic inflammations, and Becher discussed the simultaneous stimulatory and inhibitory effect of cytokines IL-12 and IL-23 on the immune system and the possibilities of using them in order to affect immune-mediated diseases. From the University of Tartu, associate professor Kai Kisand gave a talk on autoimmunity against interferons, Prof. Pärt Peterson on experimental models of autoimmunity and Dr. Aili Tagoma on the role of intestinal commensals in the development and activation of the immune system.
The target groups of the summer school were MSc and PhD students, medical residents and other young researchers, who presented the results of their research in oral and poster presentations and participated in a career development workshop. From the University of Tartu, doctoral students Anu Bärenson and Lehte Türk, junior researcher Kristi Alnek and medical student Martti Vanker gave oral presentations. Young researchers from the University of Tartu were also numerously represented in the session of poster presentations, 11 out of 16 presentations were from the University of Tartu. It is also worth mentioning that the international evaluation committee of the summer school rated Tuuliki Pomerants' presentation as the best poster presentation.