About ISNI

The International Society of Neuroimmunology was established in 1982.

Since this date has contributed greatly to the growing recognition of the different roles of the immune system in causing or modifying the severity of neurological disorders, and to the potential for new approaches to treatment.


Neuroimmunology is a rapidly expanding field with tremendous and daily advances from basic immunology to clinical practice and we need to have a scientific society capable of supporting established scientists, but also undergraduate and post graduated students. These needs require a scientific body able to guarantee that researchers worldwide are kept abreast of new developments and to support the participations of students to the society’s courses and meetings by providing travel bursaries.


The first International Congress of Neuroimmunology was held in Stresa, Italy in 1982 and was organised by Peter O. Behan and Federico Spreafico. The proceedings were published in 1984 (Neuroimmunology, Behan and Spreafico, Raven, Press).


The second International Congress of Neuroimmunology was held in Philadelphia, PA in 1987 and was organised by Cedric Raine and Dale McFarlin; the proceedings were published in 1988 (Advances in Neuroimmunology, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. Vol. 540). It was at this meeting in Philadelphia in 1987 that it was decided to start an international society (the International Society of Neuroimmunology) and an election was held for a panel of officers. Cedric S. Raine was elected President, John Newson-Davis, Vice-President, Robert Lisak, Treasurer and Kenneth Johnson, Secretary, together with and International Advisory Board.

The Society was incorporated in 1988.

Subsequent meetings were in Jerusalem 1991 (Organiser, Oded Abramsky and Haim Ovadia), Amsterdam 1994 (Kees Lucas), Montreal 1998 (Jack Antel and Trevor Owens), Edinburgh 2001 (John Greenwood, Sandra Amor, David Baker, John Fazakerley and Angela Vincent), Venice 2004 (Francesca Aloisi and Gianvito Martino), Nagoya 2006 (Tabira Takeshi), Fort Worth 2008 (Caroline Whitacre and Mike Racke), Sitges 2010 (Pablo Villoslada), and Boston 2012 (Samia Khoury).


The by-laws were first drafted in 1988 and were then updated and ratified by the General Meeting in Edinburgh in 2001. On November 6, 2012 in Boston, the new by-laws were approved by the General Assembly, and are available at www.isniweb.org.

The President and Vice-President (President-elect) are elected by email voting by the International Advisory Board and serve two-year terms. The Secretary/Treasurer is elected and serves four-year terms. You can find the list of International Advisory Board members here.


From 2010, the European School of Neuroimmunology (ESNI) was the official school of the ISNI and the first congress day was dedicated to the ESNI course (www.esni.isniweb.org). With the initiation of the Americas School of Neuroimmunology (ASNI – www.asni.isniweb.org) and the Asia-Pacific School of Neuroimmunology (APSNI – www.apsni.isniweb.org) in 2015, all 3 schools are now official schools of ISNI. Moreover, the ESNI, ASNI and APSNI will come together as the Global Schools of Neuroimmunology (GSNI) on the first day of the ISNI congresses.