The Mason Institute warmly invites you to attend our annual Winter Lecture, with Dr Anne Cambon-Thomsen, Université de Toulouse, France.

We will be holding our lecture in Screening room G.04 in 50 George Square, EH8 9LH from 18:00 on the 11 December 2017. The lecture will be followed by a festive drinks reception. You can find out more information about the event, and register here.

Sharing samples, data, and ideas: When history shapes the future in human immunogenetics

with Dr Anne Cambon-Thomsen , Université de Toulouse, France


Over 50 years, human immunogenetics has developed a model of collaboration, thanks to exchanges of biological samples, data, techniques and ideas, illustrated by international histocompatibility workshops and vivid activities in the HI societies. Collaboration and competition, exchange of practices and translation to applications go beyond the concept of co-opetition (1). Through a historical analysis of workshops and a study of the parallel scientific evolution in other domains such as genome analysis and bioinformatics, a model of this original mode of scientific and professional co-development can be drawn.

The main factors are: a core set of values; the charismatic influence of “champions”; the simultaneous development of a strong fundamental knowledge and of clinical applications, e.g. in transplantation; a good equilibrium between clinical scientists, technologists and basic science researchers in the move; the necessity of integration at an international level of research into clinical applications; the development of international friendship relations in parallel with the professional achievements.

Generally in biomedical sciences, the two last decades have faced a tremendous change in technological developments, communication and a move towards translational research “from bench to bedside” and “from bedside to bench”, blurring the limits between clinical care and research. Our analysis highlights how the immunogenetics world has now both advantages and difficulties to maintain its original model in this context. Some scientific communities have incorporated the immunogenetics mode of collaboration and set up new elements (2,3). It is highly important that an elucidation of the essential spires of a collaborative model is performed in order to explicit the multidimensional basis of an international sharing policy to construct its future in a global context.

1) J Healthc Manag. 2004;49(2):81-3; 2) Genome Med. 2011 3(7):46; 3) Nat Rev Genet. 2009 (5):331-5.


Mason Institute Winter Lecture with Dr Anne Cambon Thomsen