CPA Session at IMMUNOLOGY 2011™

Got Funding? Why Your Voice is Needed on Capitol Hill

Saturday, May 14, 2011 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Chair: Jeffrey A. Frelinger, University of Arizona


  1. Paul M. Allen, Washington University
  2. Gail A. Bishop, University of Iowa
  3. Olivera J. (Olja) Finn, University of Pittsburgh
  4. Gary Kline, Office of Representative Brian Bilbray (R-50th, CA)

The AAI Committee on Public Affairs (CPA) hosted a vibrant, informative and fun luncheon at the IMMUNOLOGY 2011™ meeting in May. More than 50 people attended the standing-room-only luncheon, which focused on the need for scientists to advocate for their profession's best interests on Capitol Hill. Although a short application was required for admittance, the luncheon attracted many who had not applied.

Speakers included AAI President Jeffrey Frelinger, Ph.D.; AAI Vice President-elect Gail Bishop,Ph.D.; former AAI Presidents Paul Allen, Ph.D., and Olja Finn, Ph.D.; AAI Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs Lauren Gross, J.D.; and special guest Gary Kline, Senior Policy Advisor to Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-50th, CA). Kline regaled the crowd with a humorous, rapid-fire listing of the best - and worst - ways to gain a Congressperson/Senator's attention. To illustrate his points, surprise guest Ellen Kraig, Ph.D., former chair of the AAI Committee on Public Affairs, starred in a skit with Kline and Gross, demonstrating a (very, very) bad Capitol Hill meeting, in which Kraig (as a scientist) said and did all the wrong things, followed by a skit in which she said and did all the right things. Much laughter – at all the right moments – proved that Kraig could have a second career on the stage.

Time was allowed at the end of the session for attendees to chat with the speakers and other AAI leaders about how to become more involved in public affairs.

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