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BSI Immunosenescence Affinity Group: join us in Sheffield!

The British Society for Immunology’s Immunosenescence Affinity Group is a network connecting scientists with a key interest in changes to immunity during ageing and differentiation. Here, committee members of the Group tell you more about their upcoming conference, including some exciting speakers to look forward to and plenty of networking opportunities. 

The BSI Immunosenescence Affinity Group is holding a two-day meeting on Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 October 2022 in Sheffield, UK. The theme for the meeting is ‘Immune surveillance in the ageing microenvironment’; it will explore the complex relationship between the aged local and systemic microenvironment as they play a fundamental role in tissue maintenance and contribute to the initiation and progression of numerous diseases.

The Group has put together an exciting programme that puts particular emphasis on the crucial role played by the microenvironment in immune surveillance in different tissues and species across the life course and in health and disease. We are keen to give a platform for PhD students and Early Career Researchers to showcase their work and have created flash talks in every session, together with posters. Submit an abstract before Friday 9 September for the chance to share your latest research as a flash talk or poster.

The Group aims to represent changes that occur to both innate and adaptive immunity during ageing and differentiation. This network brings together researchers to highlight changes to all leukocyte types in the immune environment, focusing on how they are integrated, and the impact of intrinsic (cellular–molecular) and extrinsic (physiological–environmental) factors on immune alterations.

The contribution of the microenvironment in the establishment of a ‘senescent state’ in different cell types and its influence on immune surveillance is often overlooked. This meeting aims to address this by bringing together experts to shed light on this key issue with talks from Dr Masashi Narita about how the endothelium is a non-autonomous SASP target and an organising centre for immune-mediated senescence surveillance. Professor Dan Lambert will discuss the role of non-coding RNA in the microenvironment, while Dr Alice Denton will explain how ageing affects the ability of fibroblasts to support an immune response. Dr Matt Yousefzadeh will show how an aged immune system drives senescence and ageing of solid organs. Finally, Professor Shelia Francis will talk about how endothelial senescence impacts upon age-related diseases.

We are also keen to emphasise how the use of different model systems can be used in ageing research and Dr Michael Rera will discuss how intestinal barrier dysfunction is an important event that can act as a proxy for predicting how ageing and disease develop across a variety of organisms, from flies to fish and, possibly, humans. There will also be a talk from Dr Jenny Regan who uses Drosophila to understand how the dynamic behaviour of immune cells differs between sexes and how these affect the response to infection, inflammation and ageing.

There will be plenty of opportunities for attendees to interact and network with each other and invited speakers during the sessions, as well as at the more informal social event arranged for the evening. The BSI offers two grants to support members' attendance at the conference. BSI members can apply for up to £200 towards their travel costs and up to £200 towards costs of caring responsibilities such as childcare or additional care for the applicant themselves. Don't forget to apply before the deadline on Monday 12 September!

Finally, we would welcome people getting involved to discuss and potentially prepare a publication for Discovery Immunology, an official journal of the BSI, at the end of the conference.

Registration is still open and we look forward to seeing you at the meeting!

Register here

Dr Sian Henson, Dr Catarina Henriques & Dr Natalie Riddell 
BSI Immunosenescence Affinity Group Committee members

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