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The Babraham Institute is a world-class research institution who focus on fundamental biological questions of how cells and organisms develop and respond to the environment. As much of their research concentrates on understanding the basic science behind how our cells and bodies work, the use of animals for some areas of research remains essential for future scientific breakthroughs. 

Welcome to our last installment before Christmas of our regular monthly slot where we report on research from the world of immunology, highlighting work from BSI members that has hit the headlines over the past four weeks.

Includes: Jolles et al. 2016 Clinical & Experimental Immunology doi:10.1111/cei.12856


Welcome to the sixth installment of our new regular monthly slot on immunology research!

Natural killer cell

Novel targets identified for cancer and inflammatory diseases, dying tumour cells release potassium ions to impede T cell effector functions and interferon lambda proves to be an effective anti-viral are covered in our Immunology Update for September. 

Radwan Al-Zidan

Each year, the British Society for Immunology (BSI) offers a number of grants through our Medical Elective and Summer Placement Award Scheme (MESPAS) to medical and postgraduate students who are planning to undertake a formal placement for their medical elective or for a summer placement. Here, Radhwan Al-Zidan, a pharmacist from Iraq and one of the 2016 recipients of this grant, discusses his placement and what he gained from the experience.

Healthcare graphic

Understanding Health Research is a new online tool designed to help the public and patients understand and assess research papers.  In this guest blog, Dr Amy Nimegeer and Chris Patterson from the project team tell us more about the website and how they hope it will help people make better informed decisions on health.

T Lymphocyte

We look at a potential mechanism to reboot the immune system after a bone marrow transplant, a new therapeutic target for autoimmune diseases and ask what scales the T-cell response. 

Yellow Fever vaccine manufacturing facility in France

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported one of its largest emergency vaccination campaigns for the yellow fever virus in Africa. In our latest blog we look at the challenges in producing and administering an effective vaccine. 

Immunology update

Genetic link to flu transmission in chickens, markers of neutrophil activity may help sepsis diagnosis in severe burn patients and how our immune system recognises pathogens.

Image showing damage caused by uveitis in the untreated mouse eye (left) and the treated eye (right)

Cancer drugs could target autoimmune disease, calcium channel blocker may be effective therapy against fungal disease and immune system activity linked to likelihood of heart attack.

Girl receiving oral polio vaccine

To what ends will a health worker go in order to reach children who need protection from disease? Chief Executive Jo Revill writes about her visit to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle recently for a meeting which brought together different groups to talk under the theme of ‘taking risks’.

Biohazard Symbol

The BSI is sponsoring Outbreak! at Cheltenham Science Festival, a street game where you play a government scientist tasked with identifying and controlling a deadly new disease. Here, Outbreak! designer Jo Pennock talks us through the rationale behind the game and why the clock is ticking to come up with an action plan before it’s too late.

Swine flu virus. Credit: NIAID

Differences in individuals’ immune responses linked to flu vaccine effectiveness, the importance of resting phases in B cell development and research into whether pathogens cause type 1 diabetes.


John Tregoning discusses his learnings from a seminar about the better use of statistics in animal experiments. 

E coli bacteria

This April, the British Society for Immunology supported the event ‘Gut Feeling’ at the Edinburgh International Science Festival through our Communicating Immunology grant scheme.  Here, event chair Adam Hart tells us more about the session and why bacteria can be a useful science communication tool.



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