2013 Sentosa Island, Singapore (20-25 January 2013)

Overview of 2013 Round

The enthusiasm of the participants and the high scientific quality of the lectures made the 2013 NIF Winter School an extremely successful event. Throughout the days of the program, from 20th to 25th January, lecturers and students shared intriguing insights and findings in immunology, discussed new ideas and forged friendships that fueled networking and future collaborations.

This was the second year of the NIF Winter School – a partnership between the IFREC Institute in Japan and SIgN in Singapore - and the first time that was held in Singapore. The course selected a group of 54 excellent students from 17 different countries out of 256 applicants, and was able to attract a prominent international group of Immunology Faculty from the US (6), Europe (4), Japan (4), Australia (1), Singapore (4) and China (1).

The Amara Sanctuary Resort in Sentosa offered an isolated and tranquil environment for intense personal interactions. But there was also a chance to explore Singapore during a free afternoon, and many participants chose to extend their stay to take advantage of the trip and enjoy the local culture.

We hope that the Winter School experience made a strong impact in all participants, widened and deepened their understanding of immunology, created many new friendships, and furthered their commitment to excellence in scientific research.

Date and Venue

20-25 January 2013
Amara Sanctuary Resort, Sentosa, Singapore

Application and Selection

We received 256 applications for NIF 2013 Winterschool from 39 countries. Organizing committee carefully shortlisted all applications and 56 applications were selected based on scientific excellence. 2 Applicants withdrawed at last minute due to personal reasons, so final number of students was 54. Participants of 22 nationalities came from institutes & universities in 18 countries of 6 continents. 29 of them were advanced PhD students; 25 were early postdocs. Most of the participants were 27-29 years old. 44% of the participants were female.

2013 Program

The scientific program comprised of 19 guest lectures, Keynote lecture by Prof. Abul Abbas, participants' short presentations, poster sessions and cutting-edge technology session.
Each participant presented a poster during one of the poster sessions and gave a short oral presentation as well. The short talks and lectures were grouped according to the topic.


Abul Abbas (The University of California, San Francisco. Keynote lecture)
Adrian Hayday (King's College London, UK)
Andreas Strasser (Molecular Genetics of Cancer, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute)
Atsushi Kumanogoh (IFReC, Osaka University)
Bernard Malissen (Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy)
Burkhard Becher (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Fiona Powrie (Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford)
Gennaro De Libero (Singapore Immunology Network)
John Connolly (Singapore Immunology Network)
Juan Lafaille (Department of Pathology, NYU Langone Medical Center)
Lai Guan Ng (Singapore Immunology Network)
Lucia Mori (Singapore Immunology Network)
Miriam Merad (The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, USA)
Olivera J. Finn (University of Pittsburgh, US)
Shimon Sakaguchi (IFReC, Osaka University)
Shizuo Akira (IFReC, Osaka University)
Tomohiro Kurosaki (IFReC, Osaka University)
Vijay Kuchroo (Brigham and Woman's Hospital, Harvard Medical School)
Wayne Yokoyama (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
Xuetao Cao (Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China)

Presentation Award Laureates

Three "Best Presentation" prizes were awarded to:

Hannes Bergmann - Australian National University
"B-cell survival, surface BCR and BAFF-R expression, CD74 metabolism and CD8- DCs require the intramembrane endopeptidase SPPL2A"

One Dintwe - University of Cape Town
"Novel naïve-like Mycobacteria-specific CD4 T Cells Are Not T Memory Stem Cells"

Patrycja Kozik - University of Cambridge
"Genome-wide siRNA screening: novel players in clathrin-mediated endocytosis and in trafficking of MHC class I molecules"

Messages from the Participants

"Big thank you to all included in organisation! Really fantastic!"

"Great variety of students ethnically and scientifically."

"Very well organized, nice place, great facilitators, exciting people"

"Excellent quality of presentations, great discussion, overall a wonderful experience. I have established a potential collaboration!"

"The NIF school is a very good platform for fresh PhD graduates or young researchers."

"PIs are really accessible and discuss easily. It was a great opportunity to do a fantastic networking."

"The course was well organised and a great learning experience overall and I thoroughly enjoyed it."

"It has been a wonderful experience, a great opportunity to improve my knowledge, to establish new relationships with colleagues from all over the world and therefore to grow both personally and professionally."

Organizing Committee

Paola Castagnoli (SIgN) – Chair of the 2013 committee
Philippe Kourilsky (SIgN) - committee member
Florent Ginhoux (SIgN) - committee member
Lucia Mori (SIgN) - committee member
Maria Lafaille (SIgN) - committee member
Lai Guan Ng (SIgN) - committee member
Anis Larbi (SIgN) - committee member
Barbora Fricova (SIgN) - School Manager

Photo Album