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BSI Oxford Immunology Group

The Oxford Immunology Group (OIG) is a regional group of the British Society for Immunology based in Oxford. We organise annual meetings, with the help of the BSI, with the particular aim of trying to attract visiting speakers with the widest appeal, but to also advertise the best in local immunological research.

Together with the University of Oxford Immunology Network, our aim is to promote collaborations among Immunologists in Oxford and the whole UK.

For more details, please see our University of Oxford page.



Roel De Maeyer (he/him)

Roel is an Oxford-BMS fellow, working with Dr James Fullerton, focused on establishing novel human immune challenge models to provide robust and reproducible platforms with which to interrogate early phase experimental medicines. He is particularly keen on using these models to understand the dysregulated inflammation seen in older people.

He obtained his PhD in 2018 from University College London (UCL), where he worked on acute inflammatory responses in older people with Professor Derek Gilroy. Following on from his PhD, Roel built upon his knowledge of age-related immune dysfunction by joining the lab of Professor Arne Akbar at UCL. As such, Roel has worked on many cells of the immune system, as exemplified by his extensive BSI cell badge collection.

Roel has been a member of the British Society for Immunology since 2013 and is currently serving on the committee of the London Immunology Group. He is part of the CARINA (Catalyst Reducing ImmuNe Ageing) network. You can follow him on Twitter as @roeldemaeyer

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Elena Mitsi (she/her)

Elena is a Senior Research Associate in the Oxford Vaccine Group. She has been leading on the immunology that is performed within the Experimental Human Pneumococcal Challenge model and recently on the SARS-CoV-2 studies. Her research focuses on mucosal (nasal and lung) immune responses to respiratory pathogens and the identification of correlates of susceptibility to respiratory infections in high-risk groups, such the elderly and children.

She obtained her PhD in 2020 from Liverpool School of Medicine, where she investigated the impact of nasal pneumococcal colonisation on the lung immune landscape. During her postdoctoral training, Elena built on virology expertise. She recently secured funding to evaluate the antimicrobial properties of novel inhaled therapeutics, using primary airway cells and organoids.

Elena has been a member of both the British and American Society of Immunology since 2018. You can find her on Twitter as @ElenaMitsi.

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Business Partnerships/Events

Charlotte Bell

Charlotte works as Senior Business Partnerships Manager in the Business Partnerships Office, Medical Sciences Division. She promotes strong links between the division and businesses in order to secure significant funding and resources to drive collaborative research and provides dedicated partnership management for key strategic university-business relationships, including Bristol Myers Squibb with whom she has been working with for 5 years. Many of the partnerships that Charlotte and her team manage are based around immunology research. 

Charlotte manages, trains and supports the development of other Business Partnerships Office team members and leads on progressing a portfolio of new partnering opportunities alongside the development and implementation of strategies to increase business collaborations. 

Prior to joining the team at Oxford she worked at the University of Bristol in the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation team focusing on impact development and industry engagement in Biomedical Sciences. She spent 3 years at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) where she managed collaborative funding mechanisms including the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst and Research Industry Clubs in Bioprocessing, Biorefining, Animal Health and Horticulture. Charlotte obtained her Engineering Doctorate in Biopharmaceutical Process Development from Newcastle University, working in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline.

General Member

Caitlin O’Brien-Ball (she/her)

Caitlin is currently working in the lab of Dr Ricardo Fernandes as an Oxford-BMS Postdoctoral Fellow, where her work is focused on understanding inhibitory signalling in T cells and using this knowledge to improve immunotherapies. Prior to this, she completed her DPhil in Medical Sciences at the WIMM, investigating early signalling in T and B cells with fluorescence and super-resolution microscopy. Throughout her time in Oxford she has had an active role in many academic and social committees including Chair of the Oxford Immunology Group.

General Member

Ester Gea-Mallorquí (she/her)

Ester is a Postdoctoral Fellow working in the lab of Professor Sarah Rowland-Jones at the Centre for Immuno-Oncology (CIO). Her work explores antigen presentation and recognition from the perspective of the interaction between viruses and the immune system.  

Prior to this, Ester completed her PhD in the Institut Curie in Paris (U932 Immunity and Cancer) in the lab of Dr Philippe Benaroch. During her PhD, she described the HIV-2 life cycle in primary human macrophages and the interaction between HIV-1 and precursor dendritic cells (pre-DCs). Ester did her MSc in the AIDS Research Unit in Barcelona where she developed a paediatric HIV-TB BCG-based vaccine to be used in a prime-boost regime in collaboration with the Jenner Institute. 

Ester coordinates the Preprint Club in Oxford and is involved in academic teaching as well as science outreach and communication. You can follow her on Twitter as @estergeama.

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General Member

Zhi Yi Wong (he/him)

Zhi is a PhD student working in the lab of Professor Christopher Buckley and Professor Mark Coles at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology. His work focuses on understanding how fibroblasts compartmentalise leucocytes in the peripheral tissues. 

Before his PhD, Zhi trained as a pharmacist, and then completed his MRes in Oncology at the Department of Oncology, University of Oxford, investigating the mechanism(s) of temozolomide resistance in glioblastoma multiforme. 

Together with Ester and other colleagues, Zhi helped coordinate the Preprint Club in Oxford. You can follow him on Twitter as @ZhiYiWong1.

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General Member

Gerda Mickute (she/her)

Gerda is a BM, BCh and DPhil student currently in the final year of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funded DPhil with Professor Paresh Vyas at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. Her work has focused on developing novel T cell therapies for acute myeloid leukaemia using allogeneic T cell receptors.

She started her Medicine degree at Oxford in 2017 and after successful completion of the Pre-Clinical part obtained a BA in Medical Sciences (2020). After the intercalated DPhil in Cancer Science, she intends to resume Clinical Medicine studies at Somerville College from 2023.

You can find Gerda on Twitter: @GerdaMickute

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General Member

Jordan Rolt (he/him)

Jordan is currently working as a research assistant in the Experimental Medicine Division at the John Radcliffe Hospital. His research involves understanding the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in immunosuppressed patients through clinical trials, such as the RAPID-PROTECTION and STRAVINSKY studies.

Before this, he completed the MSc Integrated Immunology at the University of Oxford where, as part of a research project, he worked at the Kennedy Institute to better understand the dependence of macrophages on T cell signalling in Tumour Microenvironment.