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From Len Harrison, IDS President&

This is not your standard State of the Union address&.read on&.

My sole purpose is to ask you to think about why you should renew your IDS membership for another year and get involved in IDS activities; or if your membership (through no fault of your own) has lapsed why you should rejoin now.

Why Join? Membership is cheap ($50 US per year) and comes with freebies (your choice of a subscription to Clinical Immunology or to Diabetes Metabolism Reviews), the opportunity to participate in collaborative research with other IDS members and scientific meetings with registration discount and travel subsidies for young investigators.

How to Join? Information on membership renewal is included, along with the report from the IDS Treasurer Mikael Knip, and is also available here on the website. The website will tell you what the IDS is doing to facilitate type 1 diabetes research and the prevention-cure goal. There youll see everything from the names of the Executive and Council, current members, special committees and associated ongoing collaborative programs such as the DASP Second Proficiency Evaluation for islet antibodies, to the next Scientific Meeting in Denver this October.

Lead&or follow? Advances in our knowledge of type 1 diabetes over the last generation have been made predominantly by clinical and non-clinical researchers who have been members of the IDS. In a sense we are now at a watershed where we are asking,,, is this knowledge sufficient for the prevention and cure of type 1 diabetes? Even if some of the old guard would lay bets on the answer being yes, they may not be around in another 25 years to collect (or pay up)!

Why Participate? Progress and success will happen only if the IDS continually reinvigorates itself with new blood. Therefore, in renewing your membership, I encourage you to introduce your colleagues, especially students and young postdocs, to IDS membership. IDS membership is also good value because it introduces young researchers to a network of fellow-researchers that is important for career development.

Benefits to You&The IDS is the only scientific forum that deals specifically with the immunology of diabetes and related areas. That means that if you are involved in type 1 diabetes research you can benefit IDS and IDS can benefit through you. The work of IDS and its members undergirds the goals of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) and TrialNet consortia, to prevent type 1 diabetes. Meeting these goals involves applying immunology at the cellular and molecular levels to complement the unique work that the IDS has done over the years through its Antibody Workshops. The IDS has a key role to play here in meeting the new challenges of bench-to-bedside research. For example, what we have done so well with antibodies we must do with cellular immunology. In this regard, Mark Peakman, the new Chair of the T-cell Workshop, and the Workshop members, are working on creative solutions (stay tuned to the website).
Although there is a strong science base, along with optimism, public support and $$$ for research, the pathogenesis of human type 1 diabetes remains complex. Our attempts to see into it are akin to detecting signals from an invisible galaxy with Galileos telescope. As we go forward towards our goals, the IDS and its members have a responsibility not only to science but also to patients and their families and the public at large to represent and transmit realistic expectations of the fruits of research.

By virtue of its membership, the IDS is well-placed to provide a forum for scientific and public debate on issues surrounding the prevention and cure of type 1 diabetes. We are drafting documents for discussion that will hopefully facilitate the application of research to type 1 diabetes prevention and cure. The first of these, the Draft Guidelines for Intervention Trials in Subjects with Newly-Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes by Carla Greenbaum and myself is available from the website. Members are urged to suggest topics for discussion or guidelines. Topics on the agenda are: intervention trials in subjects at-risk for type 1 diabetes, latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA) or, as the Romans say, non-insulin requiring autoimmune diabetes (NIRAD) (which do you prefer?) and the assay and standardisation of beta-cell function.

Finally, let us welcome our new Treasurer, Mikael Knip (Helsinki) and three new Council members, Matthias von Herrath (La Jolla), Francesco Dotta (Rome) and Bill Hagopian (Seattle), as well as new Chairs of some special committees that you can see on the website. Id like to pay a large tribute to our outgoing Treasurer, George Eisenbarth (Denver), who has done a sterling job in this and other IDS roles over the years. Hes just retired in time to organise the forthcoming meeting in Denver.

Please support your Society by renewing your membership now. We look forward to receiving any comments or suggestions you might have for improving the work of the IDS and to seeing you in Denver.

PS. Using the membership form and credit authorisation instructions provided at our website is fast, painless and most convenient....


Previous President's Reports:

Len Harrison

Hubert Kolb