Bracketology Cytokine Style

Cytokines Bracket 2024

In this season of voting for the ICIS, President Sarah Gaffen has released the 2024 King of Pathogens Memorial Cytokine Bracket. As some of you will no doubt remember, then-ICIS President Chris Hunter (aka, “King of Pathogens”) created the tongue-in-cheek, but nonetheless hard-fought “Cytokine Bracket” that made the rounds on Twitter/X last summer. Fierce rivalries developed between the Interferon enthusiasts, the IL-17 contingent, and a small but vocal group of IL-18 boosters. In the end, (and far from coincidentally) it was the King of Pathogens’ favorite cytokine IL-27 that won the day, squeaking out IL-2 in a race-from-behind finish.

“I resurrected the bracket this year, with the innovation that votes are actually counted,” said Gaffen. “The sharp-eyed among you will notice some conspicuous absences. Last year’s champion IL-27 withdrew from competition due to a scandal involving alleged use of performing-enhancing PEGylation. Its place in the roster was taken by EPO, a cytokine never previously associated with controversy.”

Scan the QR code or click here to play. Voting for the first-round ends July 17 at 5:17 pm East Coast time (that’s 7-17 at 17:17 for those who are paying attention).

Cytokine Bracket QRcode

Final winner will be announced October 1, so you have lots of time to follow the excitement.


author avatar
Stephanie Flores
ICIS Co-Managing Director Support the leadership and governance of the Society as well as represent and promote the organization. Work with the Governing Council to set and implement the strategic direction, I ensure the organization meets its objectives. It is also my responsibility to ensure compliance with the Society's bylaws, policies and all applicable regulations.