AAAAI e-news now: February 2018

In the News

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Article Wins Elsevier Atlas Award

The recent Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) article “Allergy and immunology in Africa: Challenges and unmet needs” has won the Elsevier Atlas Award for the November 2017 issue.

The Atlas Award recognizes scientific contributions that have the potential to impact global health significantly. The paper was nominated out of thousands of articles published each month from over 2,500 Elsevier journals.

“It is truly an honor and joy to be granted the Elsevier Atlas Award for our article on allergy and immunology in Africa,” said author Elham M. Hossny, MD, PhD, FAAAAI.

Hossny, along with fellow authors Yehia M. El-Gamal, MD, PhD, FAAAAI; Zeinab A. El-Sayed, MD, PhD; and Shereen M. Reda, MD, PhD, hope that the visibility of this article will draw global attention towards promoting the specialty in Africa, optimistically termed ‘the continent of the future.’

“Being motivated by the expanding burden of allergy and immunodeficiency in our continent, the co-authors and I tried to outline the challenges and unmet needs that have to be faced,” said Hossny. “The tremendous increase in allergy in Africa cannot simply be explained by the change in public hygiene as there are many ‘pre-hygiene’ situations across the continent and still there is growing incidence of allergic diseases.”

There are few allergy specialists on the continent because of the prevailing healthcare infrastructure or the lack of recognition of allergy as a clinical specialty. This phenomenon is described by the World Health Organization as a knowledge/practice gap.

“Many African countries are currently affected by conflict and fragility which poses an indirect impact on healthcare proficiency. In order for African allergists and immunologists to provide better care for their patients and be able to perform cutting-edge research in the field, they need to be empowered by motivated governments, dedicated funds and compassionate scientific partnership.”

Visit the JACI’s website to read the full article.

News Briefs

Joint Congress Updates: Early Bird Pricing Ends Tomorrow, Abstracts Now Available

The 2018 AAAAI/WAO Joint Congress in Orlando, Florida is just weeks away. Early registration ends tomorrow, February 14. After February 14, you can still register online but will no longer receive the discounted registration price. Register today.

Housing is currently very limited. If you need to book your room, please call CMR, the Joint Congress’ official Registration and Housing Bureau at (888) 869-0189 to check availability.

Joint Congress Abstracts Are Now Available Online

You can now view the 2018 AAAAI/WAO Joint Congress abstracts here. The abstracts are also available in PDFs organized by the day they will be presented:

Get a Discount on the Virtual Joint Congress

Pre-order the 2018 Virtual Joint Congress before March 6 and save $50. This special early bird pricing is currently being offered to both members and non-members.

The 2018 Virtual Joint Congress offers the chance to expand your knowledge, clinical skills and maintain your certification on your own time. These recordings are offered in two formats: streaming online and in MP4 format to download to your preferred device. You may use the recordings to claim CME/CE credits, train medical students and new staff in your office, prepare for certification/recertification exams and meet Maintenance of Certification requirements.

To pre-order the 2018 Virtual Joint Congress, visit the AAAAI’s Education Center.

Beginning Tuesday, March 6, the price will go up to $225 for AAAAI members and $275 for non-members.  

Visit the Education Station or Practice Resources Corner in Orlando

The AAAAI is adding several new features to the 2018 AAAAI/WAO Joint Congress including the Education Station and the Practice Resources Corner. Staff members will be available throughout the Joint Congress to talk to delegates about new educational opportunities, practice resources, quality reporting, upcoming events and more.

The Education Station

In 2017, the AAAAI awarded over 21,000 credits and we are excited to continue offering educational opportunities to the allergy/immunology community.

Visit the Education Station on level 2 of the Orange County Convention Center for a tour of the new and improved AAAAI Continuing Education Center. We will walk you through logging in, exploring our offerings and even claiming credit for live and online activities.

Bring your questions and devices or stop by for an overview on your way to the plenary hall.

The Education Station’s hours are:

Friday, March 2 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm

Saturday, March 3 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm

Sunday, March 4 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm

Monday, March 5 from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm

Practice Resources Corner

Visit the Practice & Policy team at the Practice Resources Corner and learn about the wide array of practice management resources and programs the AAAAI offers. You can find representatives near the Exhibit Hall to guide you through upcoming events, Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), practice parameters and coding.

The Practice Resources Corner will be open:

Friday, March 2 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Saturday, March 3 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 4 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Monday, March 5 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

View the 2018 Honorary Award Recipients

The AAAAI Board of Directors and the Awards, Memorials and Commemorative Lectureships Committee have named the 2018 Honorary Award recipients. Awards are presented to individuals whose contributions have advanced the science and knowledge of allergy/immunology, the mission of the AAAAI and helped to improve patient care. Congratulations and thank you for your achievements.

Pamela H. Steele, MSN, CPNP, AE-C

Allied Health Professionals Recognition Award

Presented in recognition of service to the allergy/immunology allied health community as a leader, mentor and educator.

Mariana C. Castells, MD, PhD, FAAAAI

Distinguished Clinician Award

Presented in recognition for outstanding contributions toward clinical care of drug hypersensitivity.

Vincent R. Bonagura, MD, FAAAAI

Distinguished Clinician Award

Presented in recognition for outstanding contributions toward clinical care for immunodeficiency.

Philip W. Askenase, MD, FAAAAI

Distinguished Scientist Award

Presented in recognition for seminal work in immunoregulation that will improve patients' lives.

Donald Y. M. Leung, MD, PhD, FAAAAI

Distinguished Scientist Award

Presented in recognition for seminal work in atopic dermatitis that will improve patients' lives.

Lanny J. Rosenwasser, MD, FAAAAI

Distinguished Service Award

Presented in recognition of service to the AAAAI, American Board of Allergy and Immunology and World Allergy Organization as a leader and advocate for the specialty.

Marshall Plaut, MD, FAAAAI

Special Recognition Award

Presented in recognition for a lifetime of national service to allergy/immunology research and patient care.

William R. Lumry, MD, FAAAAI

Outstanding Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award

Presented in recognition of service to the University of Texas Southwestern allergy/immunology training program as a teacher and mentor.

Andrew W. Murphy, MD, FAAAAI

Regional, State and Local Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Societies Leadership Award

Presented in recognition of service to the allergy/immunology local, regional and national communities as a leader, mentor, advocate and educator.

Phillip L. Lieberman, MD, FAAAAI

Mentorship Award

Presented in recognition for a lifetime of service as an allergy/immunology mentor for students, residents, post-doctoral fellows and faculty.

Last Chance to Pre-Register for AAAAI Foundation Events

Pre-registration for the AAAAI Foundation Benefit and Run/Walk, as well as pre-sales for Support Ribbons, closes February 21 at 11:59 pm CT. Delegates can register onsite beginning March 1 at the Foundation booth in the Orange County Convention Center.

AAAAI Foundation Benefit

Join us for an evening of fine food, music and the presentation of our 2018 Faculty Development Awards on Saturday, March 3 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm at Ports of Call, SeaWorld Orlando.

The Benefit features the announcement of the 2018 Faculty Development Award recipients, a seated dinner, cocktails and photos with SeaWorld’s Animal Ambassadors.

6th Annual 5K Run/Walk

The AAAAI Foundation’s 5K Run/Walk: Light Up the Night allows Joint Congress attendees the opportunity to run for research and raise awareness for allergy/immunology. The Run/Walk takes place March 4. The race starts at 5:30 pm, but join us at 4:30 pm to check in and warm up. The race starts outside the South Concourse Doors at Orange County Convention Center.

The Run/Walk is proudly sponsored by Shire.

Foundation Support Ribbons

Friend of the President Ribbon

Thank our AAAAI President, David B. Peden, MD, MS, FAAAAI, for his year of service to the AAAAI with the $100 purchase of a Friend of the President Ribbon.

New Allergist/Immunologist Assembly (NAIA) Ribbon

Your donation of $50 as a member of the New Allergist/Immunologist Assembly (NAIA) entitles you to wear a NAIA Supports AAAAI Foundation Ribbon during the Joint Congress.

All support ribbon proceeds go to our annual Grow Allergy & Immunology Now (GAIN) Campaign.

How to Register

You can pre-register for the Benefit and 5K Run/Walk and purchase Support Ribbons through the Joint Congress registration site. Look for Foundation items in the “Activities and Guest” section. You can also purchase Foundation items by calling Foundation staff at (414) 272-6071.

Have You Renewed Your Membership for 2018?

The deadline for membership renewals was January 1. If you haven’t paid yet, you now risk a lapse in your AAAAI member benefits.

To avoid interruptions in receiving your benefits, which could include Ask the Expert, The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), JACI: In Practice and more, renew your dues online today.

Assistants and office managers are able to renew dues on your behalf, using your email address, by visiting the office administrator dues system. If you need an invoice sent to you or help with your login, contact

Renew your membership today to ensure your benefits continue for 2018.

Coming Soon: Prepare Your 2019 Annual Meeting Proposals and Register for the Practice Management Workshop

Registration Opens March 1 for the 2018 Practice Management Workshop

The 2018 Practice Management Workshop will be held July 20–22 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The sessions are designed to cover many aspects of allergy practice management, so come alone or bring your entire staff and join us for this informative, practice-changing workshop.

Registration will open March 1. Click here for more information and a preview of session topics and speakers.

Get Ready to Submit Your Proposals for the 2019 Annual Meeting

As you attend the 2018 Joint Congress, we invite you to think about the questions and challenges you face that aren’t addressed in this year’s program. Give us your suggestions and help program our next session lineup by completing a proposal for the 2019 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.

The collection site for proposals will open March 2 during the 2018 AAAAI/WAO Joint Congress.

The deadline for submitting all proposals is April 2 at 11:59 pm CT. The AAAAI receives a large number of proposals to fill a finite number of session slots. Not all proposals will be programmed and many proposals will be combined with others.

Contact the AAAAI education team with any questions at (414) 272-6071 or

Limited Availability: Register for ACAAI/AAAAI Joint Board Review Course Today

There are fewer than 50 spots available for the live 2018 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI)/AAAAI Joint Board Review Course taking place May 18-20 at the Nashville Marriott in Nashville, Tennessee. Those interested in attending are highly encouraged to register now before it is too late.     

The course organizers have been working diligently to modify the course to best reflect the various changes that have been made in the past year to the American Board of Allergy and Immunology recertification policy. If you have any questions, contact the ACAAI at (847) 427-1200.

View February’s Featured Jobs and Attend the Career Connections Job Fair

New employment opportunities within the specialty are available at the AAAAI Career Connections Center. Job seekers can upload their resumes, set up customized alerts for the types of jobs they are seeking and much more.

Top employers continue to add positions to the AAAAI Career Connections Center on a regular basis. View February’s featured professional opportunities:

Pediatric Immunology Opportunity - Valley Children's Healthcare - Madera, CA

Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Physician - The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center - Dallas, TX

Allergy & Immunology Physician for Florida - SIMED - Gainesville, FL

Allergist BE/BC - Allergy SA (Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of South TX) - San Antonio, TX

Allergy and Immunology Specialist - Children's Hospital Los Angeles Div. Clin. Immunology & Allergy - Los Angeles, CA

Attend the Career Connections Job Fair at the 2018 AAAAI/WAO Joint Congress and You Could Win Free Registration to the 2019 Annual Meeting

Delegates will have the opportunity to make valuable connections at the AAAAI Career Connections Job Fair on Saturday, March 3 from 12:00 to 3:15 pm in the Orange County Convention Center, South Concourse, Level 1, South Hall A2. Job seekers, regardless of the stage in their career, will benefit from attending. Attendees can meet employers, hand out copies of their resume, browse our onsite job board and set up potential interviews with companies; all at no cost.

New this year is that delegates who attend the Career Connections Job Fair and meet with exhibiting companies are entered for a chance to win free registration to the 2019 AAAAI Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.

Web Tips

AAAAI Ask the Expert Updates
One year ago, Ask the Expert returned with experts Daniel J. Jackson, MD, FAAAAI; Dennis K. Ledford, MD, FAAAAI; Patricia A. McNally, MD, FAAAAI; Andrew W. Murphy, MD, FAAAAI; Jacqueline A. Pongracic, MD, FAAAAI, and a team of members who assist as needed.

Recent improvements include a new search algorithm to help you navigate the question archive. There are thousands of questions represented from the last five years in the archive. Additionally, the results page now creates a URL you can share with colleagues.

Ask the Expert is a member benefit, thus only AAAAI members can ask questions. If you have a question, be sure to search the archive first to see if there is already an answer posted.

Ask the Expert is for general educational, communication and information purposes only and is neither designed nor intended to constitute case specific or other medical advice, treatments or diagnosis. Questions with specific patient information will not be answered.

From the President

Dear Colleagues,

The 2018 AAAAI/WAO Joint Congress, March 2-5 in Orlando, is quickly approaching. On behalf of the AAAAI, I am pleased we had the opportunity to partner with the World Allergy Organization (WAO) to produce the educational program you will experience there. It all starts with our theme, Global Environmental Change and Respiratory Health, which reflects the unique opportunity of having a Joint Congress.

Consider the following statistics:

These figures clearly illustrate a problem, especially when you consider that environmental factors have an impact on economic outcomes such as healthcare spending. Our vision for the Joint Congress is that it will enable us to come together and be objective conveyors of the science behind our theme.

While the theme covers about 20% of our sessions, the remaining 80% were developed through member submissions. Look for the labels and key inside the Final Program you will receive onsite to help you determine which relate to the theme or to our other various session tracks.

Add the Plenary and Keynote Sessions to Your Schedule

AAAAI’s plenary session, Environmental Impacts on Asthma: Biology to Intervention, is Friday from 2:15 to 3:45 pm and WAO’s session, Asthma and Allergic Disorders in an Environment of Continuous Climate Change, follows on Saturday morning from 8:15 to 9:45 am. The slate of plenary sessions continues Sunday morning with Environmental Influences on Innate Immunity-Insights and Mechanisms and wraps up Monday morning with Cutting Edge-Food Allergy Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Therapy. You can view details on all of the plenaries here.

Another highlight is our Saturday Keynote presented by Linda Birnbaum, PhD, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). This session will allow you to understand unique interactions between genes and environment that contribute to human health or disease, recognize the global increases in non-communicable diseases that are attributable to environmental conditions and identify opportunities to improve human health by modifying environmental exposures.

Download the Joint Congress App and Join the Conversation on Twitter

Remember to download the official 2018 Joint Congress app for your smartphone or tablet. Featuring a new design and navigation, it gives you the ability to: interact with other attendees, easily access session handouts, abstracts and evaluations, search by speakers and add their sessions to your schedule, learn about last minute program changes and navigate the Orange County Convention Center with interactive maps and exhibitor information. One important reason to use the app is to complete evaluations. It is the only way to evaluate faculty, which in turn allows us to making programming improvements. You can download the app from the App Store or Play Store on your device.

You are also encouraged to follow the 2018 Joint Congress on Twitter. Use #AAAAIWAO18 when you tweet in Orlando to participate in onsite conversations and share what you’re learning.  

I would like to recognize WAO’s leaders, especially Mario Sánchez Borges, MD, FAAAAI, and Ignacio J. Ansotegui, MD, PhD, who provided crucial input for our Joint Congress planning. I also want to recognize Mary Beth Fasano, MD, FAAAAI, Chair of the Joint Congress Program Committee, who led the charge to put our slate of educational programming together. My sincere thanks to each of them.

This is my last message to you as AAAAI President. Robert A. Wood, MD, FAAAAI, will be installed as your next President during the AAAAI Business Meeting at the Joint Congress. It has been an honor and I am very appreciative that you—the AAAAI members—gave me the opportunity to serve as AAAAI President. I must also thank the AAAAI Board of Directors and AAAAI staff for their support during my term.

I now look forward to Bob Wood’s leadership. His theme centered on optimal care for the food allergic patient, which you will hear about at the Business Meeting and in his forthcoming messages, is certainly very timely as we turn our attention to the future of the specialty.

See you in Orlando.


David B. Peden, MD, MS, FAAAAI

AAAAI President