Each year the British Society for Immunology presents the Immunology Teaching Excellence Award to an exceptional immunology teacher working in a higher education institute in the UK. We’re delighted to announce that this year’s winner is Dr Nicholas Barnes from the University of Manchester.
Dr Nicholas Barnes, a Lecturer in Healthcare Sciences (Clinical Immunology) at the Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation, University of Manchester has been chosen as the recipient of our 2021 Immunology Teaching Excellence Award.
Dr Barnes studied for a PhD in Biological and Biomedical Science at the University of Lancaster, undertook post-doctoral research at St James’ University Hospital in Leeds and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Dr Barnes demonstrated a creative approach to immunology teaching through his work with UK NEQAS, a non-profit NHS organisation, to pilot use of a web-based resource of patient cases (interpretative EQA scheme). This allows the students to formatively develop their clinical and scientific interpretative skills in an interactive, safe environment, encouraging peer discussion, learning and reflection. This is the first time that the interpretative EQA scheme has been applied in a higher education environment and it has proved particularly beneficial during periods of remote learning. The student feedback has been excellent with one describing how the scheme "can reinforce your confidence…" and another saying that they can "all discuss cases that we have been through."
Several colleagues at Manchester and further afield have praised Dr Barnes for his dedication and talent at teaching. Dr Joanne Pennock, Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, said: “Dr Barnes excels in his current role as academic lead across Clinical and Transplant Immunology…on the national NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP)…and has been dedicated to the continued development and quality of teaching on the programme.”
Similarly, Dr Natalia Diaz Burlinson, Consultant Clinical Scientist at Manchester Royal Infirmary said, “Dr Barnes organised live virtual seminar sessions…a new edition to the programme...with students enjoying the interactive opportunity to speak to colleagues in other laboratories – very important during a year when normal networking options had been removed”, whilst Dr Ross Sadler, Consultant Clinical Scientist at Churchill Hospital (Oxford) commented, “He supports, advocates for, and pushes all the students that come under his supervision to an admirable level.”
Everyone here at the BSI would like to congratulate Dr Nicholas Barnes on his achievement in winning the 2021 BSI Immunology Teaching Excellence Award. We would also like to thank the other nominees, all of whom are inspiring a new generation of immunologists. Finally, thanks also go to our judges for their time and expertise in reviewing all the nominations.
Our judging panel also wanted to recognise the excellent nomination of Dr Cristiano Scotta, Translational Research Coordinator at King's College London. His nomination showed, "excellent collegial feedback, demonstrating good and innovative immunological teaching at UG and PhD level", according to the panel.