Skip to main content

Tumour Immunology Affinity Group

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 upcoming Checkpoint Blockade conference taking 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

Chair: 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.


Secretary: 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.


Treasurer: 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: Mr Richard Buchanan, Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham.

Richard studied a degree in BSc Biomedical Science at the University of Surrey before moving to the University of Birmingham. He is currently studying for a PhD in Immunology and Immunotherapy under the guidance of Professor Gary Middleton, with the aim of understanding how the immune system responds to lung cancers driven by different genetic profiles.


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.



Become a member today

Click below to find out how to become a member.

Join the Society

Immunology news

Our membership publication, published quarterly and distributed free to members both electronically and in traditional print.

Read more