Immunology plays a central role in many of the most pressing global health challenges we face. Whether it’s fighting a global pandemic, supporting ageing populations to experience healthier lives for longer, protecting livestock against infectious diseases to secure the food chain or developing new therapeutics to treat cancer, immunology has a vital part to play in tackling these challenges.
Over the past decade, immunology research has undergone a remarkable revolution, with giant steps forward in our understanding of the basic science behind how the immune system functions leading to the development of a plethora of new therapeutics with the potential to make a hugely significant positive impact on human and animal health. The coming years will be critical for immunology to deliver on this potential. The British Society for Immunology has always stood shoulder to shoulder with our members to promote and support the discipline of immunology – never has this been more important than today. Our new strategy, developed in close consultation with members, sets out our vision for immunology and how the BSI will work to achieve this goal over the next five years.
We will focus on three core areas to achieve our mission. Firstly, we will build on past successes to nurture a cohesive and interconnected immunology ecosystem that supports collaboration between sectors and disciplines. We will also focus our efforts to provide sector-leading careers support to attract and retain talent in immunology at all levels and sectors. Finally, we will engage with external stakeholders to ensure the gains in knowledge achieved through immunology research have a demonstrable impact in policy and public circles to deliver positive outcomes for health as well as influencing the external environment to enable immunology research to thrive. This is an ambitious strategy but one that is eminently achievable if we all work together. Our work will be underpinned by three facilitators – ensuring the future financial stability of the BSI, embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in all our activities and creating a larger and more diverse and engaged membership. This last point is particularly important. Membership sits at the very heart of all our activities and we are immensely grateful to the many BSI members and partners who generously volunteer their time to assist in our work to help shape the future of immunology. We hope you will all continue to join us on this journey.
We believe that immunology can change the world for the better, delivering better health for people and animals. Our ambitious five-year strategy sets out how the BSI plans to play our part in realising this vision of better health through immunology.
Professor Arne Akbar, British Society for Immunology President
Dr Doug Brown, British Society for Immunology Chief Executive