The field of primary immunodeficiencies (PID) was just revving up when I entered it in the eighties. This branch of medical sciences has gone through intense development over the past decades by creating new concepts and providing explanation for the molecular genetic basis of more than 300 inborn errors of immunity. We have learned that infections result from specific human germline genetic variability which paved the way of the genetic theory of infectious diseases. However, the new knowledge was not rapidly and evenly spread in the medical community. I still recall the shocking data from the European Society for Immunodeficiencies registry presented by L. Hammarstöm in Debrecen, 2002 and showing that the number of registered PID patients was less than 10 in many European countries. Thus, the J Project physician education and clinical research collaboration program was to set out to search for PID patients in Eastern and Central Europe (ECE). The Project has spread and reached milestone successes in terms of the number of diagnosed and treated patients and at a later stage, establishing genetic centers for mutational analysis in various ECE countries and elsewhere which was referred to as the J2 Project. These successes could only be achieved with the outstanding ambition and remarkable contribution by colleagues from ECE, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and patient groups. The J Project has been generously supported by pharmaceutical companies, in particular Biotest and Octapharma, and the Jeffrey Modell Foundation. I am grateful to all of them and judge myself fortunate to have caught the primary immunodeficiency wave in the past decades.
László Maródi, MD
Founder and leader of the J Project
Our next Steering Committee Meeting will be held in Budapest, 8-10 March 2018.
Ludwik Hirszfeld prize for Professor László Maródi
Prof. László Maródi has been awarded by the decision of the Board of the Polish Society of Clinical and Experimental Immunology with the Ludwik Hirszfeld medal for his outstanding contribution to the field of clinical immunology and the development of the J Project clinical research collaboration and physician education program in Central- and Eastern Europe.
The Foundation for Children with Immunodeficiency as the new coordinator of J Project activities The Foundation for Children with Immunodeficiency (FCI) was endowed in Hungary in 1991 and served as a national organization to support PID patient care and research nationally. In 2014, the memorandum of association of FCI was extended in such a way that it should assist care and research in the field of PID and storage disorders in Hungary and Central- and Eastern-Europe. At the Meeting in Antalya on March 2, 2016 the SC made a decision that FCI will be the coordinator of J Project activities (see also Deed of Foundation of FCI, 15 January 2015).