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APAAACI Reflections of 2021

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

In the face of another challenging year, APAAACI has built forward with numerous initiatives, publications, collaborations, and its very first virtual conference.

APAAACI Conference

APAAACI 2021 International Conference (15-18 October)

The APAAACI 2021 International Conference, centred upon Innovations, Challenges and Opportunities in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in a New Era, was a major milestone that surpassed expectations and achieved unimaginable success! We had an impressive reception of over 3,000 delegates in attendance from 59 countries worldwide. This would not have been possible without our cutting-edge, state of the art scientific program led by our brilliant international and regional faculty that essentially covered all aspects of allergy, asthma and clinical immunology. View Scientific Program | Meet our faculty now

Key highlights included the Opening Ceremony which featured a Keynote Address by Dr. Katie Allen, Member of Parliament, Australian Government. APAAACI Past Presidents, Prof. You Young Kim, Prof. Ronald Walls and Prof. Karnen Baratawidjaja then delivered Special Congratulatory Addresses. APAAACI President, Prof. Ruby Pawankar, delivered an Opening Address and officially opened the conference. This Opening Ceremony was moderated by Dr. Agnes Leung, Co-chair of the APAAACI Junior Member Committee. This was preceded by a successful Junior Member Symposium with outstanding lectures by our Junior Members covering a vast array of asthma and allergy-related topics. Watch Opening Ceremony Now

Our four plenary sessions played a pivotal role at the conference, with global experts who came together to deliver ground-breaking discoveries and scientific updates. This was followed by stimulating Q&A panel discussions executed by our excellent moderators.

We also take great pride to highlight our collaborating society symposia including EAACI, ACAAI, FOCIS, APAPARI, PSAAI, TAAACI, INUNUMA and WAO. All 8 symposia were chaired and lectured by key international and regional faculty, covering a multitude of cutting-edge topics focused on updates, trends, and novel learnings.

Other highlights included our symposium on Covid-19 Therapy and Vaccines, Climate Change in Allergic Diseases, and Covid-19 Updates: Immunomodulators to Vaccines. There were other excellent sessions on many clinically relevant topics like asthma, rhinosinusitis, nutrition, allergy prevention, urticaria, food allergy, anaphylaxis, allergen immunotherapy, HAE etc. We were also delighted to announce our best oral and poster awardees.

For those who missed the event or could not attend all the sessions, we will be rolling out on-demand recordings that cover all tracks and sessions of the three days made available on and APAAACI TV.

APAAACI Collaborations

APAAACI International Women’s Day: Women in Science (8 March)

In honour of International Women's Day, APAAACI celebrated "Women in Science" by organising a LIVE panel intended to motivate and encourage young women into doing science. This session was broadcasted on 8th March 2021 at our APAAACI TV YouTube channel.

Our international panelists comprised of Prof. Kari Nadeau, Prof. Mariana Castells , Prof. Mubeccel Akdis and Prof. Ruby Pawankar. The panel was moderated by our young woman clinician scientist Dr. Agnes Leung (Co-chair of our JM committee).

The webinar was widely attended and can be viewed on APAAACI TV. Watch Now

APAAACI Allergy Week: COVID-19: Allergies and Vaccines (12-18 April)

APAAACI successfully hosted a special Live webinar on the theme COVID-19: Allergies and Vaccines, Understanding the Facts & Myths on 12th April 2021 via our APAAACI TV YouTube channel.

The webinar which was led by WHO leadership, a parliamentarian, global and regional leaders aimed to provide a better understanding of COVID-19 and allergies, the science of the vaccines, safe implementation, and improved physician understanding and public awareness on the benefits and safety of the vaccines. View Press Brief Now

With the line up of the high profile faculty, the event had a turnout of well over 2,000 attendees. We thank our distinguished speakers and the APAAACI task force for putting their efforts and time toward the success of this event. Watch Now

We would also like to thank our member societies for organising their respective programmes centred around APAAACI Allergy Week. More details can be found below:

  • Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology (MSAI)

  • Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (PSAAI) Watch Now

  • Vietnam Society of Allergy (HSAACI) Watch Now

  • Indonesian Society of Allergy and Immunology (ISAI) Watch Now

  • Mongolian Society of Allergology (MSA) Watch Now

  • India Academy of Allergy (IAA) Watch Now

  • Taiwan Association of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology (TAAACI)

  • Chinese Society of Allergology (CSA) View Article

  • Pakistan Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society (PAAIS)

Alongside this, APAAACI collaborated with multiple member society congresses.

APAAACI EAACI Sister Symposium 2021 (11 July)

We are delighted to have participated at the EAACI 2021 Hybrid Conference this July. Chaired by Prof. Amir HA Latiff, this symposium was based on the theme, COVID-19 a global pandemic of the 21st century: The Asian and Western scenario.

This session included stimulating presentations from Prof. Ruby Pawankar, Prof. Rudolf Valenta and Prof. Jiu-Yao Wang. The highlights include:

  • COVID-19: Immune mechanisms, cytokine storm and allergies/ asthma (Prof. Ruby Pawankar)

  • COVID-19: From antibody responses In sera to convalescent plasma (Prof. Rudolf Valenta)

  • COVID-19 and virus-induced asthma in children: Asian vs western perspectives (Prof. Jiu-Yao Wang)

With widespread viewership, our joint symposium turned out to be of great success!

Philippine Society of Allergy Asthma and Clinical Immunology (PSAAI) - National Allergy Day 2021: A Public Awareness Event (11 July)

The PSAAI National Allergy Day is targeted towards enhancing the awareness of the public on Allergic diseases. Prof. Rommel Lobo, President PSAAI, appreciated APAAACI’s support and highlighted the theme of the 2021 PSAAI National Allergy Day: DIARY ng ALLERGIC habang Pandemic, meaning Diary of an allergic sufferer during the pandemic. The PSAAI National Allergy Day, held virtually, attracted over 4,000 viewers and was an outstanding success.

Science To Action

Science to Action is a flagship program of APAAACI where eminent scientists / clinician scientists who in their careers have been able to move scientific discoveries into actionable new processes. This can be the creation of new therapies, policies, advisories, or new research bases. The platform selects eminent scientists to talk about their vision and experiences of Integrating science into decision making and/or creating change.

The Role of Translational Science in Changing People’s Lives (Prof. Peter Doherty)

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Peter Doherty is an immunologist and pathologist who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1996 for the discovery of how the body’s immune system distinguishes virus-infected cells from normal cells. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1975–82), headed the department of experimental pathology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra (1982–88), and served as chairman (1988–2001) of the department of immunology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee. In 2002, he joined the faculty of medicine at the University of Melbourne, and from 2014, has been at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

In the APAAACI Series, Science to Action, we had the privilege of interviewing Nobel Laureate, Prof. Peter Doherty on the Role of Translational Science in Changing People’s Lives. In this brief interview he talks about his career, his life’s journey, and his role as a communicator of science to the public through his many books and talks. WATCH NOW

The Power of Science Advocacy in Changing the Government’s Mind (Prof. Katie Allen)

Prof. Katie Allen MP is an established clinician scientist who became a parliamentarian and Federal member for Higgins, elected in 2019. Prof. Katie served as a Paediatrician and Medical Researcher at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne for over 25 years. She was Director of the Population Health Research Theme at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and was a Professor at both the University of Melbourne and Manchester. She was honoured as an inaugural Fellow of the Australia Academy of Health and Medical Science in 2015.

As part of our Science to Action series, Prof. Katie Allen talks about the Power of Science Advocacy in Changing the Government’s Mind. She takes us through her journey and discusses how to apply science-based skills to public policy and to the benefit of the public. WATCH NOW

Junior APAAACI Allergy Leadership Forum and Café (JAAFCA)

JAAFCA is APAAACI flagship program for Junior Members. Leadership development strategies is a high priority for APAAACI. Aligned with APAAACI’s mission to build a robust future for the organization and the specialty in the region, this program is an online forum designed specially for APAAACI’s Junior Members.

Journal Club & A Practical Approach to Immunotherapy for Food Allergy

To kick start this initiative, we organized the very first JAAFCA online program on 4 October 2021 from 18:00-19:30. This forum was chaired by Dr. Agnes Leung who first presented the Journal Club. Following this, A Practical Approach to Immunotherapy for Food Allergy workshop was conducted by Dr. Paxton Loke and Ms. Sigrid Pitkin. The opening edition turned out to be a great success, having strong viewership and user engagement. WATCH NOW

Motivational Conversations with Global Leaders

In conversation with Prof. Cezmi Akdis

In an exclusive interview with Prof Cezmi Akdis, Director of the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), Davos, Ordinarius Professor in Zurich University Medical Faculty, one of the directors of the Christine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education, Davos, Switzerland and Past President of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), Prof Ruby Pawankar holds a conversation on the scientific and impactful highlights of the last decades that led to the growth of the science and professional development of many young scientists. Prof Akdis elegantly takes us through his life career path and highlights his life experiences that has shaped his career and those of the others he mentored. From science, education and leadership to the impact of COVID-19, with important learnings and key advice for the young future generation, this is an interview you do not want to miss. Watch Now

Science at the Edge

Featuring Prof. Cezmi Akdis

The first Science at the Edge: Walk the Talk, featured Prof. Cezmi Akdis. In this clip he talks about his most recent publication on ‘Epithelial Barrier Hypothesis’ in Nature Reviews Immunology and his many discoveries in that space (interviewed by Prof Ruby Pawankar).

Watch this enriching and stimulating talk! Watch Now

APAAACI Webinar Series

We have diligently worked to bring to you a series of state-of-the-art web lectures, webinars and panel discussions by global and regional experts that offer cutting edge excellence in the science and clinical practice of allergy, asthma and clinical immunological diseases as well as COVID-19 for our community. These 1-2 hours lectures are accessible online. As part of the “New Normal”, we will continue to look for ways to make this experience interactive and educational at the same time.

Below is a line-up of our inspiring web lectures led by our global and regional leaders.

  • Safety Management of COVID-19 Vaccines (Prof. Mariana Castells) Watch Now

  • Adverse Reactions to COVID-19 Vaccines (Prof. Stanley Fineman) Watch Now

  • Chronic Urticaria - An Update & Tips and Tricks for Clinical Management (Prof. Marcus Maurer) Watch Now

  • Current Updates on Atopic Dermatitis (Prof. Kent Woo, Prof. Jiu Yao Wang, Prof. Pham Le Duy) Watch Now

APAAACI MENA Allergy Webinar Series

With a significant growth over the past few years in the Asia Pacific region, APAAACI embarked on another journey of sharing knowledge and educational activities in the MENA region. This milestone comes as part of the vision of APAAACI in offering motivational and inspirational learnings from global leaders to address the burden of allergic diseases. APAAACI MENA - Allergy Series 2021 is targeted for MENA Region Health Care Professionals to Update them on the Best Clinical Practices, the Cutting-Edge Science and Clinical innovations in Asthma, Allergy & Clinical Immunology. This resulted in 2 webinars in 2021 in July and December with a vision to add more activities in the future. Read More

APAAACI Publications

Asia-Pacific perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic (28 May)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected over ten million people globally since the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on 11 March 2020. The Asia-Pacific is a diverse geographical region with different health care systems and levels of access to specialist services. This survey was commissioned by the Asia Pacific Association of Allergy Asthma and Clinical Immunology (APAAACI) Task Force on COVID-19 with the premise to understand the epidemiology, clinical profile (including severity and risk factors), therapeutics/access to clinical trials, impact on clinical immunology and allergy services/therapeutics, occupational health and mental well-being (supporting information S1, S2) of healthcare providers in the region.

Read More

Women in Science and Medicine (28 May)

Science and medicine know no barriers, no country, no language. They are universal tools for the benefit of humankind meant to be accessible to everyone, both men and women. As women physician scientists, we all have had our own journeys wanting to be part of science and medicine. Read More

Glimpses of the Life Journey of Prof. Sohei Makino, MD, PhD (28 July)

In memory of and in dedication to Prof. Sohei Makino, APAAACI’s official journal APAllergy features an Editorial written by Prof. Ruby Pawankar and Prof. You-Young Kim. Read Now


APAAACI is working closely with PSAAI to prepare for the APAAACI 2022 Congress PSAAI@50 in Manila, Philippines, 1-4 October 2022. Lookout for an outstanding scientific program coming soon!

COVID-19 Resource Centre

The APAAACI COVID-19 Task force has developed the APAAACI Recommendations on Adverse Reactions to COVID-19 Vaccines, and online module for HCPs and web lectures / panel discussions with regional and global leaders. The Taskforce is constantly engaged in updating the latest news, information from health authorities and regulatory bodies, publications, and information on vaccines as it emerges. As countries in our region start the vaccination program, we believe that these guidelines will serve as an important resource. View our COVID-19 Resource Centre now!

For more information, check out the:

Literature Highlights

Our Web editors Prof. Bernard Thong and Prof. Amir HA Latiff have been working tirelessly to develop various web features as well as for the literature highlights. Several junior members are supporting them on their initiatives. I thank them very much for their leadership in doing so.

APAAACI Journal is the Asia Pacific Allergy Journal (

The APAAACI journal is our flagship journal that is now over 10 years since its launch. Led by Prof. Yoon-Seok Chang for the last several years and an excellent editorial board and panel of reviewers the journal has articles from the region and beyond. The journal has published key editorials, reviews, original papers, case reports, educational papers and letters.

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