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BSI response to membership list for SAGE

4 May 2020

Today the Government Office for Science published a list of participants at the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) for COVID-19 and related sub-groups. In response, the British Society for Immunology has released the following statement. 


Dr Doug Brown, Chief Executive of the British Society for Immunology said:

“The British Society for Immunology welcomes the move by the Government Office for Science to publish the names of participants of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) for COVID-19 and related sub-groups.  This openness helps transparency and gives the public and scientific community a greater confidence in the group.

“Identifying how the human immune system reacts to the SARS-CoV-2 virus is critical to our ability to control this pandemic.  Understanding how long infectiousness lasts, how our immune system reacts to the virus, whether immunity is generated post infection, and if so, by what mechanism and for how long, are just a sample of the key areas where specialist immunology knowledge and interpretation is critical.  This expert immunology input will only become more important as time goes on and new drug treatments and potential vaccines have to be built into the mix.

“As our recent joint report with the Academy of Medical Sciences laid out, immunology has the potential to provide the answers to many of the key unknowns, which will allow us to optimise our future response to COVID-19.  In the near future, we will benefit as a nation from having more specialist immunology knowledge within SAGE to interpret these findings in the context of the complexity of our immune systems. We look forward to working with Sir Patrick Vallance and others to make this possible.”


The full list of members for SAGE and its sub-groups can be found here

The recent joint report from the British Society for Immunology and the Academy of Medical Sciences on immunology and COVID-19 contains an expert summary, which rapidly reviews current COVID-19 immunology research and identifies urgent research priorities. A full copy of the report can be downloaded here