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N e w s l e t t e r
of the 13th International Symposium for Immunology of Reproduction
"From the roots to the tops of reproductive immunology"
22-24 June 2012, "Fr.Joliot-Curie" International house of scientists,
Varna, Bulgaria

Organized under ReProForce FP7 Project
by the International Coordination Committee for Immunology of Reproduction (ICCIR) and the Institute of Biology and Immunology of Reproduction "Acad. K.Bratanov", Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IBIR-BAS).

The ICCIR and the Varna Symposia

Dear colleagues and friends,
Continuing the tradition of the all previous twelve Symposia, the 13th International Symposium for Immunology of Reproduction took place at the "Fr.Joliot-Curie" International house of scientists (IHS) in Varna, Bulgaria. This tradition is based on the recognition of IHS as a place where in 1967 the First International Symposium on Immunology of Spermatozoa and Fertilization was held and the ICCIR was founded. Prof. Bratanov was elected as its first president. Later on, in 1975, during the 3th International Symposium for Immunology of Reproduction in Varna, the International Society for Immunology of Reproduction (ISIR) was founded and Prof. Bratanov was its first President. At the International meeting on Immunology of Reproduction organized by Prof. Hans Donat in Magdeburg, Germany in 1992, the European Society of Immunology of Reproduction and Development was founded with the active participant of Prof. G.A. Voisin and P rof. M. Kurpitz with the active participation of Bulgarian scientists (13 persons). The International Symposia for Immunology of Reproduction, known also as Varn a Simposia and ICCIR played a critical role for the creation and development of a new medical-biological field in science - Immunology of Reproduction. On this basis and as a result of the activity of Bulgarian scientists, the international scientific community recognized Bulgaria as the homeland of the reproductive immunology.

The 13th International Symposium for Immunology of Reproduction was attended by 135 researchers and specialists in the field of reproductive biology and immunology from 18 countries namely Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Hungary, France, Greece, Russia, UK, Japan, US, China, Egypt, India, Ukraine. The Symposium was opened by Prof. Rayna Georgieva, President of ICCIR as well as of the Symposium Organizing Committee and Leader of the WP3 of the ReProForce Project. The participants were honoured by the cordial greeting speeches of Prof. Guy-Andre Voisin (France), doyen of the Symposium and co-founder of ICCIR, of Prof. Dimitrina Kacheva, Director of IBIR-BAS and of Assoc. Prof. Margarita Mollova, Coordinator of the ReProForce Project. Special congratulation to the Symposium was sent by the President of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Scientific activities

The scientific programme of the Symposium was organized in the form of plenary lectures by invited speakers, short oral presentation and poster sessions. During 3 days 33 plenary lectures, 5 short oral presentations and 72 posters in 3 sessions were presented. Plenary lectures were presented by world-renown scientist in the field of

reproductive immunology: D. Clark (Canada), C. Coulam (USA), I. Surgent (England), N. Fernandez (UK), E. Barnea (USA), J. Szekeres-Bartho (Hungary), U. Markert (Germany), K. Teerds (Netherlands), S. Komori (Japan), H. Donat (Germany), S. Gupta (India), M. Kurpisz (Poland), Q.Y. Sun (China), A. Croy (USA), J. Peknicova Z. è Ulcova-Gallova (Czech Republic), Ph. Bouteiller (France), Y. Shoenfeld (Egypt) and others

The basic and clinical data presented at the symposium were on the next general problems of the reproductive immunology: Gametes antigenicity and gametes interactions; Innate and adoptive immune mechanisms in reproduction; Immuno-endocrine interactions in reproductions; Mechanisms of immune regulation in implantation and pregnancy; Cytokines in implantation and pregnancy; immunological problems of infertility; Pregnancy loss and implantation failures; steam cells and reproduction and others. Two lectures were presented by BIO-RAD and ELTA 90, sponsors of the symposium, including new industrial products capable of enhancing the capacity of scientific and clinical research in reproductive immunology. Numerous young scientists reported their results in 72

poster presentations, discussed in three scientific sessions. After peer reviewing, all Symposium materials were published in special online issue of the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology 67 (Suppl.1) 2012, 1-62

Prof. Rayna Georgieva presented his booklet, prepared especially for the symposium in English and Bulgarian, "History of reproductive immunology and the contribution of Bulgaria." It was shown that the booklet contains information on the: How reproductive immunolo gy evolved, early development and basic studies; The beginning, background and achievements of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) in humans and animals; Important events that have contributed to the creation and development of reproductive immunology; Attitude of the leading scientists of the Bulgarian Contribution to creation of reproductive immunology. Copies of the booklet were provided to the participants.

During 23 June the ReProForce Working meeting was held with the participation of the project coordinator, scientific experts, WP leaders, representatives of the ReProForce supporting partners, experts - evaluators of the project and others. The meeting was chaired by coordinator, Assoc. Prof. Margarita Mollova who introduced the experts of the project evaluated by European Commission and thanks them that accepted the invitation to attend the 13th Symposium in Varna.
ReProForce experts Prof. Vidjei Pandey and Prof. Mareus Sperandio presented their research field and evaluation experience.
ReProForce project supporting partners presented their views and discussions on future scientific strategy of IBIR. Information on these issues by the following representatives of the partner organizations was presented: Prof. K. Teerds (Human and Animal Physiology Group, Department of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands); Prof. N. Fernandez (University of Essex, UK); Prof. H. Donat (Private Hospital for Gynaecology, Magdeburg, Germany); Dr. C. Mayhofer (Biotechnology in Reproduction, Clinical Department of Reproduction and Animal breeding, Vienna, Austria)

The evening of 24 June was dedicated to the Official Ceremony on:
Awarding the "Kiril Bratanov" medal and the Certificate for contribution to

the advancement of Reproductive Immunology and to ICCIR activities. The award was received by the following researchers:
Prof. David Clark (Canada), Prof.Ian Surgent (UK), Prof. Eytan Ba rnea (US), Prof. Nelson Fernandez (UK), Prof. Raina Fichorova (Bulgaria, US)
The Special Honorary Award and Certificate for their organizational and scientific activity and significant contribution in the field of Reproduct ive Immunology received the following well known scientists:Prof. GAVoisin (France), Prof. C. Coulam,(US), Prof. I. Kehayov (BG)

With Special Award Prof. Rayna Georgieva was honoured by the Leaders of IBIR-BAS for her scientific contributions in the field of reproductive immunology, for her efforts to develop and expand activities of ICCIR, for the organization of six International Symposia on Immunology of Reproduction and the expansion of the International Relationship of the Institute.
During the last scientific session of the Symposium (June 24), the best posters of young scientists were awarded with the Special Award "Professor Hans Donat" and Certificate. Thanks to Prof. Hans Donat who is active member of the ICCIR and gave granted Spec ial "Prof. Hans Donat" award to the 6 best posters of young, up to 40 years, researchers presented at the 13th Symposium. The next persons, nominated by a scientific jury received this Award and Certificate: I. Vangelov (Bulgaria), M. Weber (Germany), T. Shima (Japan), E. Stoyanova (Bulgaria), N. Ajvazova (Bulgaria), N. Manolova (Bulgaria)

Conclusion
The 13th International Symposium for Immunology of reproduction was another proof of the importance of the scientific investigations in the field of biology and immunology of reproduction in humans and animals and their role in the world basic science and clinical practice. The Symposium is the largest scientific event included in the program of ReProForce FP7 project. The Symposium created an opportunity for broad international contacts with scientists from 18 countries, including scientists from 10 European countries and representatives of supporting partner organizations of ReProForce, for broad exchange of latest scientific research, the possibility for creation of new scientific collaborations and increases the visibility of IBIR-BAS and reproductive immunology in world scientific community.




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