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BSI Tumour Immunology Affinity Group

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The BSI Tumour Immunology Affinity Group is a platform to connect active researchers interested in cancer tumour immunology. We aim to facilitate networking and encourage future collaborations in the field.

Find out more about the group in our September 2019 Immunology News article and get ready for our recent Checkpoint Blockade conference which took place on 23 March 2022 in Birmingham in our December 2021 Immunology News article. 

Keep up to date with the group by following us on Twitter: @BSI_TumourImm​

Tumour Immunology Committee members 

Benjamin Willcox


Professor Benjamin Willcox, Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham.

Ben completed his PhD at the University of Oxford in 1999 on the molecular basis of T cell recognition, and continued his work as a postdoc at the California Institute of Technology in the US with Professor Pamela Bjorkman, focussing on Leukocyte Immunoglobulin-like Receptors. Ben subsequently established his own research team at the University of Birmingham in 2002, focussing on immune receptor recognition. He was appointed Professor of Molecular Immunology in 2012. 

Ben's research team combines molecular, structural and cellular expertise to investigate important immune receptor recognition events. Current foci include γδ T cell immunobiology and the regulation of anti-tumour immunity.  He is Scientific Director of the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Birmingham Centre, and a member of both the CRUK BioTherapeutic Expert Review Panel, and the CRUK-Astra Zeneca Target Selection Committee. His research is primarily funded by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award, by CRUK, and by the Rosetrees Trust.


 Name Dr Seth Coffelt


Dr Seth B. Coffelt, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute & Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow.

Seth completed his PhD in 2006 at Tulane University in Molecular & Cellular Biology under the direction of Dr Aline Betancourt, where he continued as PostDoc for an additional year before moving to the University of Sheffield as a Research Associate in Professor Claire Lewis’s lab. In 2011, Seth was awarded a Marie Curie PostDoc Fellowship to work at the Netherlands Cancer Institute for 5 years studying the role of immune cells in breast cancer metastasis in Dr. Karin de Visser’s group. Subsequently, he returned to the UK as a group leader at the University of Glasgow and the CRUK Beatson institute. 

Seth’s research group is interested on the role of immune cells driving metastasis formation and how tumours control immune cell behaviour in in the context of breast, pancreatic and colorectal cancers. Their main focus is to understand how γδ T cells and other immune cells participate in the metastatic process and to develop new immunotherapies that counteract metastatic lesions.


Awen Gallimore


Professor Awen Gallimore, University of Cardiff

Awen completed her PhD in Oxford in 1995 with Professor Andrew McMichael. She subsequently took her first PostDoc position with Professor Rolf Zinkernagel at The University of Zurich. In 1998, Awen returned to the University of Oxford as a PostDoc with Dr Enzo Cerundolo and continued as a Wellcome Trust junior Research Fellow until 2003. Awen, as an MRC Senior Research Fellow, moved to Cardiff University where in 2009 she was appointed a Reader and in 2013 a Professor.

Awen’s research group is focussed on basic immunology and pre-clinical models of cancer. A key areas of interest is understanding the reciprocal relationship between the immune system and the cancer microenvironment. She is a member of the CRUK Immunology Expert Review Panel and Science Committee. Her work is funded by CRUK, Cancer Research Wales and the Wellcome Trust.


Events Coordinator

Ms Amy Shergold

Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, University of Glasgow

Amy completed a MSci in Immunology at the University of Glasgow with MSci placement at MedImmune, Cambridge. She then worked as a research technician at the University of Glasgow and is currently studying for a PhD under the guidance of Dr Ed Roberts at the Beatson. Her research focuses on understanding how immune cells migrate to the tumour microenvironment and tumour draining lymph node.

Events Coordinator

Dr Richard Buchanan

Cancer Sciences, University of Southampton

Richard completed his PhD exploring the immune responses to lung cancers driven by different genetic profiles at the University of Birmingham in 2021. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southampton working with Professor Edd James to understand how modulating the immunopeptidome impacts T cell responses in cancer.

Events Coordinator

Mrs Silvia Panetti

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham

Silvia obtained a BSc in Medical Genetics at the University of Swansea and an MRes in Cancer Sciences at the University of Birmingham, where she continued to pursue a PhD in Immunology and Immunotherapy. The focus of her current research is the development of cellular immunotherapies able to overcome the immunosuppressive microenvironment established by solid tumours.

Events Coordinator

Ms Victoria Stavrou

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham

Victoria completed her BSc in Biochemistry, followed by an MSc in Immunology at the University of Nottingham. She then worked as a research technician at the University of Birmingham, exploring the role of iron chelation in colorectal cancer. She is currently a PhD student focuSsing on the use of immunotherapy as an approach to target the tumour microenvironment of acute myeloid leukaemia.

Events Coordinator

Ms Fernanda Escobar Riquelme

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham

Fernanda completed her BSc in Biochemistry at the Universidad de Concepción Chile, followed by a Diploma in Public Health at the same university. She then worked briefly as a technician in a company called Flowinmunocell before moving to Birmingham where she is currently a PhD student. Her research focuses on the differentiation of B lymphocytes in response to vaccination, specifically studying a vaccine protocol against autoantigens in tumours.


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The BSI Groups programme of events is kindly sponsored by Miltenyi Biotec.