Each generation of immunologists views the field from a unique perspective. This vantage point incorporates the existing knowledge base and uses it to identify important gaps in our current understanding and, sometimes, challenge current dogma. Looking at the field of immunology with fresh eyes is how science moves forward. To drive ongoing progress in the field, we are introducing a new section of ImmunoHorizons, called On the Horizon, in which we will highlight active areas of immunology research, with a focus on key unanswered questions.
In recent years, we have seen an explosion in the numbers of review articles, most of which provide excellent summaries and analyses of the state of specific areas of immunology to date. Our goal is not to duplicate these endeavors; instead, On the Horizon will provide a venue for authors to communicate their vision for the future of the field. Our hope is that readers will find these succinct and accessible articles to be thought-provoking.
In the first On the Horizon article, Fouda et al. focus on the topic of maternal immunization during pregnancy. The authors discuss the benefits of expanding the scope of pathogens targeted by this strategy, and also consider the potential harmful effects of passively acquired Abs on the fetus. The article summarizes the infectious diseases for which maternal vaccination is currently routine, and then provides a thoughtful discussion of the major unmet needs in this area. Additionally, the issue of how some maternal vaccine-elicited Abs can inhibit immune responses in the newborn infant is highlighted as a key area for future investigations.
We plan to publish On the Horizon perspective articles several times a year, and we encourage readers to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions for additional areas of immunology research that are primed for major advances and would be ideal topics for future articles.