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A prime-boost to immunology in the West Midlands



The BSI West Midlands Immunology Group is holding a half-day virtual symposium entitled 'A prime-boost to immunology in the West Midlands' on Thursday 17 June 2021 at 09:30 - 12:30.

The aim of this event is to bring together all the immunologists (fundamental scientists, clinicians, PhD, MRes students) of the West Midlands region, to introduce ourselves, re-connect with old colleagues and make new connections and collaborations after a whole strange and stressful year into a pandemic. We have three exceptional invited speakers lined up from the University of Warwick, Aston University and University of Birmingham, who will cover different immunological aspects, as well as oral talks from submitted abstracts. Prizes to the best oral talk will be given!

Follow us @bsicongress to stay updated and join the conversation using the official event hashtag #BSIWMS21.


View the full programme (PDF) 

View selected short talk abstracts (PDF) 

09:30 - 09:35    Welcome and introduction

Session I
Chairs: Ewan Ross (Aston University, UK) and Evaggelia Liaskou (University of Birmingham, UK)

09:35 - 09:55    INVITED SPEAKER John James (University of Warwick, UK)
                          Using chemistry and light to investigate T cell signalling dynamics

09:55 - 10:05    Selected talk Thomas Elliot (University of Birmingham, UK)
                          Antigen and checkpoint receptor recalibration of T cell receptor signalling strength

10:05 - 10:15    Selected talk Sian E. Faustini (University of Birmingham, UK)
                          Assessing serological diurnal responses to pneumococcal vaccination in healthy older adults

10:15 - 10:25    Selected talk Kieran James (University of Birmingham, UK)
                          CCR7 regulates development of effector gd T-cells in the murine thymus

10:25 - 10:45    INVITED SPEAKER Jill Johnson (Aston University, UK)
                          Pericytes – the Darth Vader of cells

10:45 - 11:00     Flash talks x 4

Beth Lucas (University of Birmingham, UK)
Deciphering the developmental pathway of medullary thymic epithelial cells
Adrian Shields (University of Birmingham, UK)
Factors affecting seroprevalence, serological responses and protection in health-care workers following natural infection and vaccination: insights from the COCO study
Sofia Hain Porter (University of Birmingham, UK)
Defining microglial subsets in the fungal-infected CNS  
Maria Sharif (University of Birmingham, UK)
Phosphoantigen-based prodrugs (ProPAgens) as potent stimulators of Vγ9Vδ2 T cell activation and anti-tumour cytotoxicity

Session II
Chairs: Kendle Maslowksi (University of Birmingham, UK) and Joanna Campos (University of Birmingham, UK)

11:10 - 11:15    Sponsor talk Saty Kaur (Thermo Fisher Scientific, UK)
                          See the unseen: Taking Cellfies with the Attune CytPix Flow Cytometer

11:15 - 11:25    Selected talk Gillian Mackie (University of Birmingham, UK)
                          Attenuated Salmonella typhimurium as a colorectal cancer therapy

11:25 - 11:35    Selected talk Sally Hashim Mohamed (University of Birmingham, UK)
                          Brain- and lung-resident macrophage populations support fungal brain infection by acting
                          as intracellular growth niches and promoting CNS dissemination

11:35 - 11:45    Selected talk Adrian Shields (University of Birmingham, UK) 
                          COVID-19 in patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiency: risk factor
                          and treatment strategies

11:45 - 12:00     Flash talks x 5

Emilie Cosway (University of Birmingham, UK)
Eosinophils are an essential element of a Type 2 immune axis that controls thymus regeneration
Jaspreet Kaur Bansal (Aston University, UK)
Investigating the potential of GDF11/BMP11 to maintain immunomodulatory properties of mesenchymal stem cells 
Emma Bishop (University of Birmingham, UK)
The role of TNF-α in the metabolic reprogramming of CD4+ T cells
Callum Moore (University of Birmingham, UK)
Characterisation CD8 thymocyte development in comparison to CD4 thymocytes
Kerensa Ward (University of Birmingham, UK)
Establishing the prevalence of common, clinically relevant tissue-specific autoantibodies following SARS CoV-2 infection

12:00 - 12:20     INVITED SPEAKER Eva Frickel (University of Birmingham, UK)
                           Immune mediated control of Toxoplasma and Salmonella in human cells

12:20 - 12:30     Concluding remarks and prizes​

Abstract submission

Abstract submission is now closed.


Online registration is open. Reduced rates are offered to BSI members – you can join the BSI online. Membership includes many benefits to help you progress your career.

  • BSI members - Free to attend
  • Non BSI-member - £10

Thank you to our sponsors