June 6-7, 2024



We are pleased to announce the CIACCO-2024 (11th Annual symposium on Cytokines in Inflammation, Ageing, CanCer and Obesity) on June 6-7, 2024 at "The Gait" Conference Hall, Bishop's University, Sherbrooke, QC.

Objectives of the event

CIACCO Symposia is a not-for-profit organization established through the collective effort of immunologists, microbiologists and cancer biologists from Université de Sherbrooke, Université de Montreal, McGill University, Université Laval and University of Ottawa.

CIACCO symposia seeks to advance education and research in cytokine biology by hosting an annual symposium featuring the latest research on physiological functions, pathological roles, regulatory mechanisms, and therapeutic targeting of cytokine signaling pathways in health and disease.

The major topics of CIACCO symposium include but are not limited to

· Cytokines in Inflammation and Immunity

· Cytokines in Ageing and Senescence

· Cytokines in Cancer Initiation, Progression and Control

· Cytokines in Obesity and Metabolism

CIACCO symposium attracts about 120 graduate students and faculty members, and hosts invited talks by established researchers and new investigators. CIACCO provides an ideal platform for students and postdocs to present their research, get feedback and establish contacts within the cytokine research community encompassing diverse fields of biomedical research in a convivial environment.

Invited Speakers

  • Taha Azad, PhD

    Taha Azad, PhD

    Université de Sherbrooke

    Taha Azad is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Université de Sherbrooke, located in Quebec, Canada. He specializes in synthetic biology with a focus on developing novel therapeutics for cancer research and treatment as well as research on infectious diseases. He completed his Ph.D. in Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's University, where he was honored with the Governor General's Gold Medal for his exceptional research.

    Before joining the Université de Sherbrooke, Azad was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. During his postdoctoral training, he worked under Dr. John Bell, focusing on oncolytic virotherapy and its interactions with immune signaling pathways.

    Currently, at the Université de Sherbrooke, Azad leads his own lab, the AZAD LAB for Synthetic Biology, where his team works on pioneering approaches to bioengineering viruses to create safer and more effective treatments for cancers.

  • Laurent Sabbagh, PhD

    Laurent Sabbagh, PhD

    Domain Therapeutics NA, Inc.

    Laurent Sabbagh holds a Ph.D. in immunology from McGill University. Following his doctoral degree Dr. Sabbagh undertook post-doctoral fellowships at the Ontario Cancer Institute and the University of Toronto before being recruited by University of Montreal as an assistant professor working on the role of TNF receptors in immunological memory, inflammation and hematological malignancies. In the fall of 2013, Dr. Sabbagh was recruited by Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Canada) where he led biomarker discovery efforts for inflammatory bowel disease and small molecules drug discovery programs for polycystic kidney disease. Subsequently, Dr. Sabbagh led research programs aimed at drug discovery of small molecules for the treatment of inflammatory disorders and cancer at Paraza Pharma Inc. in Montreal. Laurent is currently Scientific Director at Domain Therapeutics (North America) leading drug discovery efforts of new molecules and antibodies targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in immuno-oncology and metabolic disorders.

  • Chandrakant Tayade, DVM PhD

    Chandrakant Tayade, DVM PhD

    Queen’s University, Kingston

    Dr. Tayade earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, master’s, and PhD in Immunology from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute. He then came to Canada to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Guelph. He joined Queen’s University in 2009 as an Assistant Professor and is currently working as a Professor, Vice-Dean of Basic and Public Health Sciences, and is the Director of MD PhD Program in the Faculty of Health Sciences. The central theme of Dr. Tayade’s research is focused on how immune dysfunction contributes to endometriosis pathophysiology and identifying immune based markers for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Dr. Tayade has published 105 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as JCI Insight, Journal of Immunology, American Journal of Pathology, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Trends in Molecular Medicine. He has received competitive funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Endometriosis Foundation of America and Bayer. For his outstanding contributions to research, Dr. Tayade has received a number of special recognitions. In 2012, he won both the Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research and Innovation as well as the Christian J Herr Award for Outstanding Contributions in Reproductive Immunology from the American Society for Reproductive Immunology. In 2014, he earned the Mihran and Mary Basmajian Award for Research Excellence from the Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

  • Cedric Tremblay, PhD

    Cedric Tremblay, PhD

    University of Manitoba

    Dr Cedric Tremblay completed his PhD at Université Laval (Québec City) in 2008, followed by a postdoctoral training at Université de Montréal. In 2011, he joined the Stem Cell Research group led by Professor David Curtis at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) where he established his translational research program in 2015.

    Dr Tremblay established his laboratory at the Paul Albrechtsen Research Institute CancerCare Manitoba and joined the University of Manitoba as an assistant professor in the Department of Immunology in 2022. He also joined the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba the following year and became the inaugural lead of the Pediatric Research in Oncology in Manitoba: Innovation, Science, Excellence (PROMISE) research theme. His current research program utilizes bulk and single-cell multi-omic approaches to investigate the molecular mechanisms that control the fate of normal and malignant hematopoietic stem cells, with a particular focus on pediatric leukemias.

  • Susan E. Waltz, PhD

    Susan E. Waltz, PhD

    University of Cincinnatti, USA

    Dr. Waltz earned her PhD in biomedical sciences from Wright State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental biology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). After her fellowship, she joined the faculty at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, where she currently is a tenured professor in the Department of Cancer Biology. Additionally, she serves as an Associate Director at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center (UCCC), overseeing Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC).

    Dr. Waltz has been the Principal Investigator (PI) on numerous federal grants, maintaining continuous grant funding for over 25 years. Presently, she is supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) (T32 and R01) and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. She has extensive experience with growth factors and receptor tyrosine kinases in the development and progression of tumors and is an author on over 90 peer-reviewed publications in this area.

    Dr Waltz is committed to training and recognizes the importance of a program to provide basic cancer researchers with the skill sets to cross over into clinical translation. She has over 9 years of experience as the Director of the Cancer and Cell Biology Graduate Program, is on the advisory board of the MD/PhD Physician-Scientist training program and has been the PI or M-PI of the Training Program in Basic and Translational Oncology for 12 years. She teaches in multiple courses and has served on over 50 PhD student thesis committees.

    Dr. Waltz's service extends to NIH study sections, including being a standing member on both the Cancer Molecular Pathobiology and Hepatobiliary Pathophysiology panels, and she has participated in fellowship review panels for the NIH, American Cancer Society (ACS), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and Department of Defense (DOD).

  • Dmitriy Zamarin, MD PhD

    Dmitriy Zamarin, MD PhD

    Icahn School of Medicine, NY

    Dmitriy Zamarin MD PhD is the Section Head of Gynecologic Medical Oncology and is a member of the Icahn Genomics Institute and the Precision Immunology Institute at the Tisch Cancer Institute at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is a medical oncologist specializing in the care of women with gynecologic cancers, including cervical, ovarian, and endometrial cancers.

    Dr. Zamarin obtained his MD and PhD degrees from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed residency in Internal Medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital and fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where his research was focused on the mechanisms of response and resistance to cancer immunotherapy and development of novel immunotherapy treatment approaches. He has spent a decade as a faculty and Translational Research Director in Gynecologic Medical Oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center before transitioning to his current role in September of 2023.

    Dr. Zamarin has served as a principal investigator and a translational chair on multiple institutional and cooperative group clinical trials exploring novel immunotherapy combinations in gynecologic cancers and other solid tumors and serves as the translational research co-chair on the NRG Oncology Cervical Cancer committee. In the laboratory, his research is focused on understanding of the mechanisms by which gynecologic cancers are recognized by the immune system and on identification of biomarkers predictive of response and resistance to immunotherapy. His laboratory uses mouse models to explore the mechanisms of tumor-immune system interactions and to develop novel therapeutics, with particular focus on oncolytic viruses, vaccines, and targeted therapies. For his work Dr. Zamarin has received awards and funding from multiple organizations including Damon Runyon Foundation, Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, Department of Defense, and R01 grants from the National Cancer Institute.

Student organizers

Akouavi Julite Irmine Quenum (PhD - Microbiology & Infectious diseases)

Mozhdeh Namvarpour (PhD - Immunology & Cell Biology)

Laiyen Garcia Delgado (PhD - Pharmacology & Physiology)

Noah Wirasinghe (MSc - Experimental Medicine)

Sara Ali Akbari (PhD - Immunology & Cell Biology)

Fjolla Rexhepi (PhD - Immunology & Cell Biology)

Organizing committee

Moutih Rafei, PhD. Department of Pharmacology (U de Montréal)

Caroline Saucier, PhD, Department of Immunology and Cell Biology (U de Sherbrooke)

Gerardo Ferbeyre, MD, PhD. Department of Biochemistry (U de Montréal)

Sonia Del Rincon, PhD. Lady Davis Institute (McGill University)

Seung-Hwan Lee, PhD. Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology (U Ottawa)

Manu Rangachari, PhD. Department of Molecular Medicine (U Laval)

Sheela Ramanathan, PhD. Department of Immunology and Cell Biology (U de Sherbrooke)

Alfredo Menendez, PhD, Dept of Microbiology and Infectious diseases (U de Sherbrooke)

Jörg Fritz, PhD. Dept of Microbiology and Immunology (McGill University)

Subburaj Ilangumaran, PhD. Department of Immunology and Cell Biology (U de Sherbrooke)

Provisional Program

Provisional Program


  • CIHR
  • Université de Sherbrooke
  • McGill University
  • Université de Montréal
  • Lady Davis Institute


Please contact ciaccosymposium@gmail.com for Sponsorship details

  • Defence Therapeutics
  • MDPI-Cancers
  • ThermoFisher Scientific


Bishop's University

2600, Rue College Sherbrooke, QC Canada, J1M 0C8

Registration period

January 22, 2024 - 8:00 AM until May 23, 2024 - 9:00 PM

Submission period

January 22, 2024 - 8:00 AM until May 22, 2024 - 7:00 PM

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact ciaccosymposium@gmail.com .

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