2020 Awaji Island & Osaka. Japan (January 20-24, 2020)

Overview of 2020 Session

The 9th NIF Winter School on Advanced Immunology was held on 20-24 January 2020. In this School, the program comprised a 4-day lecture course and a 1-day international symposium. Fifty-four young researchers from around the world learned cutting-edge immunology from 15 world-renowned senior researchers and forged friendship with peers through active discussions and communications.

Organizers of the School cordially appreciate the financial support of Chugai Pharmaceutical, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Tsutomu Nakauchi Foundation, Hyogo International Association, the Naito Foundation.

Date and Venue

20-23 January, 2020
Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center, Awaji Island, Japan

Official Website

Birds-eye view of Awaji YumebutaiThe Awaji Yumebutai International Conference CenterConference BuildingTea Ceremony House

24 January, 2020
Grand Cube Osaka (Osaka International Convention Center) Osaka, Japan


Application and Selection

Participants were selected by the 2020 Winter School Selection Committee through a competitive screening and selection process based on submitted application materials: Curriculum vitae, a personal statement describing their motivation for attending the program, an abstract of the applicant’s presentation, and a recommendation letter.

  • 54 applicants were successfully selected from 261 applicants.
    ※ 2 participants from German Society for Immunology joined the School this year.
  • 21 participants were female (39 %) and 32 participants were male (61%).
  • 30 participants were PhD students (56%) and 24 were early postdocs (44%).
  • Average age of participants was 30.4±3.1 years old.
  • Participants were originally from Europe (18), Asia (21), Oceania (1), Northern America (5), South America (6), Africa (1) and the Middle-East (2).
  • Three young researchers from the companies (one from Chugai Pharmaceutical, Co., Ltd. and two from Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Co., Ltd.) collaborating with IFReC also attended.

2020 Program

The scientific program comprised participants' short presentations, poster sessions, and 15 guest lectures. Each participant presented during a poster session and gave a short oral presentation as well. In addition to the scientific program, there were welcome and farewell parties, a Japanese style dinner, and late discussion sessions in a friendly atmosphere after dinners as a part of the program. Followed by the above course on Awaji Island, participants listened to lectures from 10 up-and-coming researchers at the 11th IFReC International Symposium “Immunology at the Forefront” at Grand Cube Osaka, Osaka International Convention Center next day. This year, the presentation award laureates of the Winter School gave a talk at the IFReC International Symposium.

Lecturers (20-23 January, 2020)

Oliver BANNARD (University of Oxford, UK)
(Weizmann Institute of Science , Israel)
(RIKEN IMS, Japan)
Florent GINHOUX 
(SIgN, Singapore)
 (University of Calfornia San Diego, USA)
Paul KUBES (University of Calgary, Canada)
Lisa NG (SIgN, Singapore)
Laurent RÉNIA (SIgN, Singapore)
Kazuyo MORO 
(IFReC, Osaka University, Japan)
(SIgN, Singapore)
 (IFReC, Osaka University, Japan)
 (University of Bonn, Germany)
 (IFReC, Osaka University, Japan)
Kiyoshi TAKEDA
 (IFReC, Osaka University, Japan)
Akihiko YOSHIMURA (Keio University, Japan)

Speakers at the IFReC International Symposium (24 January, 2020)

Marc BEYER (DZNE, Germany)
Cevayir COBAN (IMSUT, University of Tokyo/IFReC, Osaka University, Japan)
Thirumala-Devi KANNEGANTI (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, USA)
Motoko. Y. KIMURA (Chiba University, Japan)
François LEGOUX (Institut Curie, France)
Olivia MAJER (Free University of Berlin, Germany)
Ken MURPHY (Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, USA)
Chris SCHIERING (MRC London institute of Medical Sciences, UK)
Justin TAYLOR (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, USA)
Art WEISS (The University of California San Francisco, USA)

Presentation Award Laureates

Awards were given to the following participants for their excellent presentations.

Ryu OKUMURA (Osaka University, Japan)
Christopher LEE (SIgN, Singapore)
Edoardo GALLI (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Ariën SCHIEPERS (The Rockefeller University, USA)

Organizing Committee

Tomohiro KUROSAKI (Director, IFReC, Osaka University)
Shizuo AKIRA (IFReC, Osaka University)
Wataru ISE (IFReC, Osaka University)
Naganari OHKURA (IFReC, Osaka University)
Kazuhiro Suzuki (IFReC, Osaka University)
Takashi SATOH (IFReC, Osaka University)
Kazuhiro SUZUKI (IFReC, Osaka University)

Photo Album

Messages from the Participants

dummyDefinitely a must go to interact with other researchers in the world to gain an understanding of future prospects and directions of immunology research.

dummyIt’s a great honor to participate in the meeting with such high academic level.Please feel free to make new friends, all the people are super talented and kind.

dummyThe Winter School of Immunology is a very good opportunity to learn and interact with different researchers and colleagues of the Immunology. I really suggest is a great time to learn and participate in a very competitive Immunology School. I recommend for every PhD student or Postdoc to participate and enjoy the very strong program and lectures.

dummyAwesome scientific program. Awesome hospitality. Cannot recommend it highly enough.

dummyTake the chance to be part of this exciting and inspiring event and get the chance to meet young scientists from all over the world and share your knowledge and experience.

dummyIf there is only school that you should attend, it's this one.

dummyI was exposed to the leading edge of immunology and get acquainted with the latest technologies circulating in the field. The holistic design and wide repertoire of topics covered by reputable experts would provide new perspectives, flexibility and build my expertise to inject value to my research.

dummyAll participants were super-talented. Great opportunity to interact with peer fellows!

dummyThe scientific quality of the winter school is very impressive. This is the best experience I have had during my Ph.D study not only because of a lot science I have learned but because of a lot friends I have made during the program. The organizer of the winter school is very professional and have provided the best experience. If I could have the chance to apply for it again I will for sure apply for it. Highly recommend!

dummyPhenomenal experience! Learned a lot and met some really incredible people!

dummyIt was an unforgettable and valuable experience in winter school. Thanks to all participants, and I want to see you somewhere in the future.

The NIF winter school had built up the iconic organization which promote the scientific communication in the worldwide for the young scientists. The participants come all around the world and make an intensive communication during the course. Even some people are planning to collaborate in the near future after the course. Also, it provided the comfortable atmosphere and Japanese culture for the visiting people. This arrangement all fresh the participants. Besides, people can discuss their research environment for their own country and realize the different laboratory culture. The organization deal with everything from the submit to the attending winter school. People all feel well-treated in the course. It’s a quiet great work for the organization to fulfill this wonderful course. I do recommend that the young scientists attend this fantastic winter school without the doubt.

dummyIt was a great experience to attend the 9th NIF Winter School. It was a great opportunity to meet amazing researchers from around the world and learn about cutting edge immunology research.

dummyAn amazing opportunity to meet fellow immunologists from around the world and learn about the most cutting-edge research from experts in the field. The School did a very good job at selecting participants who were not only doing amazing science but were also very humble, fun, and optimistic and driven individuals. Highly recommended for any graduate student or early post-doc!

dummyExcellent forum for young immunologists.

dummyIt is not easy for young researchers to expand their academic boundaries. I think Winter School's program was the best at creating and broadening academic network for young future scientist than any other symposium I have ever participated in. Also, lecturers and young people that I met in the Winter School were really amazing. I want to constantly interact, share ideas, and academically grow together with all my new colleagues. Finally beyond academic supports, everything Winter School has provided (flight, accommodation, food ..) was world-best grade. Thank you very much.

dummyThe Winter School was a really nice experience. It is a great opportunity to find new friends and talk about science and career options in a relaxing environment.

dummyI can not offer enough praise to the Winter School for providing such a wonderful event to its participants. Not only was the science presented cutting-edge and extensive but the event itself presented a great opportunity to network and form strong professional relationships. Scientifically, I was able to hear the current work of others in Japan and elsewhere and participate in great discussions about different topics in immunology. Everyone was passionate about sharing their science and that made the conference a great forum to exchange ideas and get feedback. In addition, the organizers, post-docs and faculty at Osaka U were more than welcoming and so pleasant. Finally, the beautiful venues in Awaji Island and Osaka and the cultural events put on by the organizers made the conference altogether a rewarding experience for me both professionally and personally. Thank you Winter School for such an amazing experience!

dummyWith warm heart and dear memories I will remember this Winter School, and I would like to express my deepest gratitude for this opportunity. Thank you organisers, teachers and fellow participants! My recommendation would be to continue and enhance the efforts in keeping up with the work that is being done in order to minimise the gender gap in science, and in immunology. In the modern days, we all, women and men in science, will benefit from having this perspective with us. Perhaps this would be the very important aspect where I would wish the school some improvement.

dummyTerrific experience, I can only recommend it to any scientist. Scientific excellence, great people and location. One of the best school in the field of immunology.

dummyThe NIF winter school is an eye opening experience, with top tier lecturers and participants from around the world. The cutting edge lectures are sure to change your scientific viewpoint, and shatter longheld paradigms in the pursuit for truth and knowledge.

dummyThank you for making this possible!

dummyThe Winter School is a great opportunity for young scientists to discuss their work constructively with fellow peers. It is the ideal environment to have informal discussions with leading scientists from around the world and formulate new concepts. Furthermore it provides the ideal environment to create new networks and friends from around the world.

dummyI strongly recommend the Winter School, it's very well organised, a great chance to get inspired by the top immunologists, make new friends, and enjoy the Japanese culture.

dummyI wish I could come back again.

dummyFront-loading the speakers on Monday/Tuesday would have been more beneficial – Wednesday and Thursday it was hard to stay focused.

dummyMake full use of this opportunity to learn from your peers and the leading immunologists!

dummyThe winter school was an outstanding experience that I will never forget. It shaped my personality as well as my future career as a scientist deeply. Beside the excellent scientific exchange, I made new openminded friends from all over the world, a marvelous experience. Thank you very much.

dummyIt is not easy for young researchers to expand their academic boundaries. I think Winter School's program was the best at creating and broadening academic network for young future scientist than any other symposium I have ever participated in. Also, lecturers and young people that I met in the 9th NIF Winter School were really amazing. I want to constantly interact, share ideas, and academically grow together with all my new colleagues. Finally beyond academic supports, everything Winter School has provided (flight, accommodation, food ..) was world-best grade. Thank you very much.

dummyI absolutely recommend applying to the NIF Winter School – not only for the great scientific input, but also for the new friends and inspiring people you can meet there. It was an exceptional experience.

Organizer title