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Frontiers in human and veterinary antibody discovery

The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0NF
Monday, 26 November, 2018 - 00:00 to Tuesday, 27 November, 2018 - 00:00


Understanding of antibody responses has progressed greatly in recent years. Advances include the identification of broadly cross-reactive antibodies, structural analysis of antibodies and antibody-epitope interactions, stabilisation of antigens to maintain epitope structure and understanding the importance of protective antibody responses for a number of complex pathogens.

This event will bring together speakers with expertise in the different disciplines that are being applied to advance this important field. This meeting is organised by the Comparative Veterinary Immunology Group (CVIG) of the British Society for Immunology (BSI) in conjunction with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) UK Veterinary Vaccinology Network (VVN). CVIG and UK VVN have a shared vision that this meeting will advance our knowledge and understanding of B cell biology and stimulate new cross collaborations. Our thanks to the sponsors for supporting this meeting.


Monday 26 November

10:00: Registration and refreshments
10:50: Welcome

Session 1: Structure guided immunogen design

  • 11:00 Peter Kwong, National Institutes of Health, USA
  • 11:30 Sarel Fleishman, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • 12:00 Structure-guided steps towards a rational malaria vaccine - Matt Higgins, University of Oxford, UK
  • 12:30 Analysis and prediction of antibody sequence and structure for improved therapeutics Andrew Martin, University College London, UK

13:00: Lunch

Session 2: Antibodies of animal and human

  • 14:00 Immunogenetic tricks of diverse vertebrates - Mike Criscitiello,Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, USA
  • 14:30 Selection of the human B cell repertoire - Deborah Dunn-Walters, University of Surrey, UK
  • 15:00 John Hammond, The Pirbright Institute, UK

15:30: Refreshments

Session 3: B cell help and regulation

  • 16:00 Identification of cell subsets involved in regulation of HIV-1 broadly neutralising antibody production to inform vaccine design - Seph Borrow, University of Oxford, UK
  • 16:30 The adjuvant GLA-SE promotes human Tfh cell expansion and emergence of public TCR clonotypes - Michelle Linterman, Babraham Institute, UK
  • 17:00 Regulatory B cells, arthritis and gut mucosal inflammation: what is the link? - Claudia Mauri, University College London, UK
  • 17:30 Defective circulating and intrahepatic antiviral B cells in hepatitis B - Mala Maini, University College London, UK

19:00: Conference dinner at DoubleTree by Hilton Woking.

Tuesday 27 November

Session 4: Translating antibodies – Therapeutics and adjuvants

  • 09:00 Jacqueline Achkar, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA
  • 09:30 Davide Corti, HuMabs, Switzerland
  • 10:00 Glycan engineering of the IgG1-Fc for therapeutic and vaccine applications as exemplified by influenza - Richard Pleass, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK

10:30: Refreshments 

Session 5: Identification of antigen targets and epitopes

  • 11:00 David Stuart, University of Oxford, UK
  • 11:30 Alain Townsend, University of Oxford, UK
  • 12:00 Boosting subdominant neutralizing antibody responses with a computationally designed epitope-focused immunogen - Bruno Correia, EPFL, Switzerland
  • 12:30 Velislava Petrova, Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

13:00: Lunch

Session 6: B cell biology in health and disease

  • 14:00 Exploring the role of antibodies in diagnosis and control of mycobacterial infections. - Ad Koets, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, Netherlands
  • 14:30 Immunoglobulin gene lineage trees and lineage tree-based analyses - Ramit Mehr, Bar-llan University, Israel
  • 15:00 Epigenetics and antibody repertoires - Anne Corcoran, Babraham Institute, UK

15:30: Wrap up – closing remarks

Tea/Coffee & Networking


Online registration is required. There is a limited capacity, so please register early to avoid disappointment. BSI membership provides you with many benefits that can help you progress your career. There is also information on travel grants available to assist with the costs of attending this conference below. 

Fees include attendance for both days, refreshments, lunches and the conference dinner.

 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.

Travel and accommodation

Delegates can benefit from preferential accommodation rates at the DoubleTree by Hilton Woking. The rate is £105 for the 25 November and £130 for the 26/27 November. A BSI booking link will be included in the registration confirmation email. 

A location map of The Pirbright Institute and a local bus timetable for routes from between Guildford or Woking to Pirbright can be downloaded below:


This meeting is organised by the British Society for Immunology Comparative Veterinary Immunology Group in conjunction with the BBSRC Veterinary Vaccinology Network. 

The meeting organisers would like to thank the following sponsors for their support.




Bio Rad logo




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

Travel grants

Applications to the Veterinary Vaccinology Network (VVN) travel grant scheme to early careers researchers to attend this meeting have now closed. The awardees have been informed. 

Applications to the International Veterinary Vaccinology Network travel grant scheme to allow early career researchers (ERCs) from low to middle income countries (LMICs) to attend this meeting have now closed. The awardees have been informed.  


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