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BSI at Parliament to discuss 'The Future of Immunology'

L-R: Melanie Onn MP, BSI President Peter Openshaw, NRAS CEO Ailsa Bosworth & Lisa Olson from AbbVie

It’s been an exciting week for the British Society for Immunology as we are co-hosted our first ever Parliamentary event on Tuesday 16 October.  Working with our partners AbbVie, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) and the BioIndustry Association (BIA), we hosted a Parliamentary reception on ‘The Future of Immunology’ where we set out our shared recommendations for the actions that need to be taken to continue the UK's pioneering role in immunological research. The recommendations we made include supporting research investment, improving patients’ experiences, ensuring timely diagnosis and providing patients with access to the latest innovations. For more details, you can download the full booklet that we produced explaining our vision for the future of immunology research and clinical practice.

The event itself proved to be a great success with many Parliamentarians and sector leaders attending.  Our host, Melanie Onn MP, provided a heartfelt welcome to attendees, framing the importance of investment in immunology research and clinical practice from the patient perspective. This was followed by short talks from BSI President Professor Peter Openshaw, NRAS CEO Ailsa Bosworth and AbbVie Vice President for Immunology Discovery & Research Dr Lisa Olson. This provided the perfect starting point for facilitating discussion amongst the many stakeholders who joined us.  We were particularly pleased to meet Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of

Chi Onwurah MP with Danielle Frewin from AbbVie (L) & Ailsa Bosworth from NRAS (R)

State at the Department of Health and Social Care, and Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and discuss with them the UK’s proud record of scientific research in immunology and what is needed to allow the discipline to flourish in the future. 

We were also gratified to be joined by so many familiar faces from the world of immunology to support our aim of raising the profile of immunology and to put forward their own perspectives on the discipline. Thank you all for attending what we hope you will agree was a worthwhile and successful event.

By running this event, our aim was to raise the profile of immunology within Parliament by engaging with MPs and sector leaders to explain the UK’s world-leading contribution to the immunological field and put forward our thoughts on how Government can best support innovation within the discipline in the future to meet the ambitions set out in the Industrial Strategy. We were extremely pleased to be able to work with our partners, AbbVie, NRAS and BIA to give immunology the prominence that it deserves and we hope that this will be the first of many such initiatives.

Jennie Evans

Head of Communications, BSI

There will be a full write-up of the event in the next issue of our membership magazine, Immunology News.