Minutes of the 2022 Third Virtual FIMSA Council Meeting


The 2022 third FIMSA council meeting was held on August 31, 2022 virtually under the Chairmanship of Dr. Sunil K. Arora, President of FIMSA. The meeting was attended by Dr. Bo Huang (Secretary General); Dr. Osamu Takeuchi (Vice-President), Dr. Kiyoshi Takeda (Treasurer), Dr. Laura Mackay (Past President) and FIMSA councilors: Dr. Liwei Lu, Dr. Mehrnaz Mesdaghi, Dr. Amit Awasthi; Dr. Young-Min Hyun, Dr. Tanapat Palaga, Dr. Yuzhang Wu, Dr. Di Yu, Dr. Dhanushka Dasanayake. The meeting was co-hosted by Dr. Zhubo Chen and Dr. Jie Yao from FIMSA-secretariat.

First of all, Dr. Sunil Arora thanked and congratulated Hong Kong Society for the successful 2022 FIMSA advanced course. Dr. Liwei Lv thanked all FIMSA council members for their greatest support.

The meeting reconfirmed that Japanese Society would hold the 2023 FIMSA advanced course, Taiwan Society would conduct the 9th FIMSA Congress in 2024 and Australian Society proposed to organize the FIMSA advanced course in 2025 or 2026.

The main topic of the meeting began with a proposal from Dr. Sunil Arora. Earlier this month he announced via email that the 49th annual congress of Indian Immunology Society would be held on 24-26th November, 2022, and suggested to hold a FIMSA sponsored one-day symposium on stem cell transplantation during the meeting. As to response the proposal, this council meeting was called to discuss details of the FIMSA budget and funding policy to support FIMSA joint activities conducted by national societies, which is not a tradition for FIMSA.

Dr. Sunil Arora proposed to increase the FIMSA influences and suggested some resource limited countries would get academic as well as financial supports from FIMSA, especially under unprecedented condition like the covid-19.

Dr. Laura Mackay said it was a great idea of FIMSA’s more involvement within the member societies’ meetings and courses and the academic supports should be given to them. However, the financial issues were more complicated since the FIMSA’s budget should abide by the IUIS policy and FIMSA needs to send reports to IUIS regularly. She suggested FIMSA could ask IUIS for more funds for extra activities.

Dr. Mehrnaz Mesdaghi favored the academic supports to the societies, and suggested FIMSA’s possible supports cover councilors as lecturers and give travel bursaries to young scholars. Dr. Dhanushka Dasanayake and Dr. Amit Awasthi fully agreed with the idea, and Dr. Amit Awasthi also mentioned the IUIS Education Committee organizes regular courses in the developing countries. Dr. Di Yu gave more concerns to the policy details as if it was needed to amend constitution to define different levels of countries. Dr. Bo Huang agreed to give supports while also proposed to ask IUIS about the policy as well as more budget.

By Dr. Tanapat Palaga’s request, Dr. Kiyoshi Takeda explained current status of FIMSA finance: since the last FIMSA congress in Thailand, currently FIMSA had 57000 dollars in the account. He reminded meetings of the coming IUIS congress in South Africa and FIMSA advanced course in Japan next year, which would be the main use of the budget. Dr. Osamu Takeuchi mentioned his worries of not having enough funds if more national societies propose to conduct joint activities.

Dr. Arora once again clarified that his proposal was mainly to increase the academic activities under the FIMSA flagship and he thought if FIMSA associates actively with the individual member societies to conduct academic program (which may be a symposium/training course or a workshop), in association with the annual conferences of each member countries then it would help polarize FIMSA in a big way, besides broadening its academic horizon. He emphasized that FIMSA funding for such activities might be restricted specifically to that activity in the form of travel expenses to one or two faculty from FIMSA countries for that event and some travel bursaries to local students and should be decided only on case-to-case basis. He proposed to constitute a “FIMSA Education Committee” on the lines of “IUIS Education committee” which would be responsible to plan such activities and make recommendations to FIMSA council for approval.

After fruitful discussions the council decided to constitute the first FIMSA Education Committee with the following members:
1. Dr. Laura Mackay (chair)
2. Dr. Amit Awasthi (convener/secretary)
3. Dr. Osamu Takeuchi
4. Dr. Dhanushka Dasanayke

The education committee was asked to discuss the issues as proposed in this council meeting and suggest a roadmap of FIMSA education activities in the coming time.

Before the end of the meeting, Dr. Sunil Arora thanked the FIMSA council members for extending their support to his nomination as Vice President in IUIS EXCO.