Dr. Juan Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker, Chair, Department of Immunology, University of Toronto

Ever since the idea of an Immunology graduate student-run magazine was proposed to me back in 2012, I was totally hooked. After seeing the first couple of issues, I was enthralled – addicted, you might say – by the creativity of the design and the powerful in-depth articles; it was, and remains, a real high to read from cover to cover. Having spent nine months on academic leave, a kind of detox period, from Departmental Chair duties, I am delighted to be once again the one to tell our present and past students, faculty, staff and colleagues about the great issue of IMMpress Magazine they are soon to enjoy.

The current issue, with a theme on Drugs & Addiction, highlights a very topical and important concern. The issue delves deftly and deeply into drugs, in both the recreational and pharmaceutical sense, with articles covering the Opioid Crisis – what it is, why it happened, and what is being done to address it – as well as the use of marijuana in treating chronic pain, and psychedelics in treating mental illness. There are fascinating articles on pharmacogenetics, artificial intelligence in drug discovery, and the stigma of addiction; plus, there is a retrospective on the anti-smoking campaign, and an exploration of sugar addiction. The alumni interview features Dr. Gary Chao.

I would like to recognize the phenomenal IMMpress editorial and production team and contributors for putting together another far-out issue. I would like to thank Dr. Angela Zhou for her outstanding contributions to this magazine, having served as co-Editor-in-Chief for over 2 years (as part of 7 issues in 3 volumes), and for having created several stunning cover-page artwork features. As we thank Angela, I would like to welcome Dario Ferri, who will be joining Sintia Xhiku at the helm starting in the next issue (Winter 2018). This marks the return of a Western Hospital (Krembil Research Institute)-based graduate student as part of the leadership of this remarkable publication.

As I start my second term as chair of this wonderful department, with its vibrant community of Immunologists, I want to thank Prof. Dana Philpott for her careful stewardship as Acting Chair, and our wonderful staff for their expertise in keeping this department running smoothly. I look forward to working with all of you.

I hope you enjoy this issue, and importantly whether you are an alumnus of the department, or a prospective student, I really look forward to hearing from you.

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