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Frontiers in comparative immunology series: T cell biology

Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre: 80 High Street, The Royal Mile, EH1 1TH Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Thursday, 2 April, 2020 - 10:00 to Friday, 3 April, 2020 - 13:30


There have been many significant advances in recent years in understanding the turnover, migration and function of conventional T lymphocytes and the importance of resident T cell populations in local immune surveillance. We will bring together speakers with expertise in the different disciplines that are being applied to advance this important field.

This meeting is being organised by the Comparative and Veterinary Immunology Group (CVIG) of the British Society for Immunology (BSI) in conjunction with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) UK and the Veterinary Vaccinology Network (VVN). CVIG and UK VVN have a shared vision that this meeting will advance our knowledge and understanding of conventional T cells and stimulate new cross species collaborations.

Attendees are welcome to bring a poster, ideally portrait size A1.

All attendees are invited to join the first ever Avian Immunology Flow Cytometry Workshop, taking place immediately after the meeting from 14:00 to 17:00. Attendees will benefit from free registration to the workshop but will need to make a separate booking to book their place. If you're a non-member who's already registered for the meeting, please email Tracey Sheehan for a discount code. Please visit the event page to find out more and register for the workshop.


Day 1
10:00 Registration and welcome tea and coffee

Session 1: Harnessing T cell immunity 

Chair: Elma Tchilian (Pirbright Institute, UK)
11:00 Annette Oxenius (ETH, Zurich, Switzerland) - Regulation of T cell immunity by NK cells
11:30 Gregers Jungersen (Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark) - Harnessing T cell immunity by adjuvant immunomodulation
12:00 Short talk ECR 
12:15 Andy Sewell (University of Cardiff, UK)

13:00 Lunch

Session 2: Magnitude, quality and  function of T cell responses

Chair: Sean Wattegedera (Moredun Research Institute, UK)
14:00 Jim Kaufmann (University of Cambridge, UK) - Generalist and specialist MHC molecules: it is T cell recognition that matters​
14:30 Wilhelm Gerner (University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria) - Differentiation of T cells in the epitheliochorial placenta of pigs: steady state versus viral infection
15:00 Short talk ECR 
15:15 Tom McNeilly (Moredun, Edinburgh, UK) - Defining T cell subsets in ruminant populations associated with health, productivity and Immune senescence

15:45 Tea/coffee

Session 3: T cell diversity and plasticity 

Chair: Lindert Benedictus (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
16:15 Tim Connelly (Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, UK) - Immunogenetic diversity in bovine T-cell responses
16:45 Short talk ECR
17:00 Crystal Loving (USDA, Ames, USA) - Single-cell transcriptomics to investigate peripheral and intestinal T cell populations 

19:00 Dinner

Day 2

Session 4 Regulation of T cell immunity

Chair: Jennifer Bailey (University of Bristol, UK)
 9:00 Rose Zamoyska (University of Edinburgh, UK) - Manipulating T cell responses by targeting signalling pathways
 9:30 Dietmar Zehn (Technical University of Munich, Germany) - Differentiation and maintenance of T cell responses in acute and chronic infections
10:00 Short talk ECR
10:15 Ann Ager (University of Cardiff, UK) - L-selectin revisited: new roles in protective immunity to viruses and cancer

10:45 Tea/coffee

Session 5 Systemic and resident memory 

Chair: Rebecca Mclean (Pirbright Institute, UK)
11:15 David Masopust (University of Minnesota, USA) - Mechanisms of T cell immune surveillance
11:45 Megan Macleod (University of Glasgow, UK) - Tracing enhanced cytokine production by influenza virus specific memory T cells
12:15 Short talk ECR 
12:45 Elma Tchilian (The Pirbright Institute, UK) - Harnessing porcine lung tissue memory cells for protection against influenza

Lunch - end of the meeting

14:00 Avian Immunology Flow Cytometry Workshop - All attendees are welcome to join for free but need to book their place in advance

17:00 End of Avian Immunology Flow Cytometry Workshop


Abstract submission

Delegates are invited to submit abstracts for the opportunity to communicate their work. The abstract submission deadline is Friday 6 March 2020. Please submit your abstract (max. 250 words) using this Google doc form.


Online registration is now open. You can join the BSI online - membership provides many benefits to help you progress your career. Undergraduate membership is free.

Fees include attendance for both days, refreshments, lunches and the conference dinner. If you'd like to attend the Avian Immunology Flow Cytometry Workshop as well, please book your place here. If you're a non-member who's already registered for the meeting, please email Tracey Sheehan for a discount code.

 BSI Members
 BSI Member - Full  £150
 BSI Member - Early Careers *  £150
 BSI Member - Postgraduate (including PhD, Masters)  £85
 BSI Member - Concessionary **  £85
 Non-Member  £250
 Non-Member - Postgraduate & Concessionary  £115
 Undergraduates  £20

*  Early careers includes scientists employed as post-doctoral researchers, for the first 5 years post graduation.
** Concessionary includes Parental leave, Career Breaks, Retired, Emeritus Retired.


Our thanks to the following sponsors for supporting this event​.

Gold sponsor

Silver sponsors

Bio Rad logo

If you would like to enquire about sponsorship opportunities, please email Jane Sessenwein.

Scholarships/travel bursaries

The Veterinary Vaccinology Network (VVN) ERC scholarships:
The VVN scholarships provide £150 to aid early career researchers to attend this meeting and are available to: Early Career Researchers (PhD students, postdocs (fixed term contract), or within 5 years of obtaining a PhD)  from research organisations within the United Kingdom.

A completed application along with a brief CV (maximum one page) should be sent to: by no later than 6 March 2020. For more information and to download an application form, please click here. For any queries, please email Kate Sutton at

International Veterinary Vaccinology Network (IVVN) scholarships:
The IVVN scholarships allows scientists working in low to middle income countries (LMICs) to attend this meeting. The scholarships cover: economy return flights; return airport transfers to and from the conference location and the conference registration fee including catering as shown in the programme.

A completed application along with a brief CV (maximum one page) should be sent to: by no later than 10 January 2020. For more information and to download an application form, please click here. For any queries, please email Carly Hamilton at