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Looking forward to BSI Congress 2021

The UK's top immunology conference returns from Sunday 28 November to Wednesday 1 December – bigger and better than before! Based in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, our extensive programme boasts a diverse selection of immunology topics covering cutting-edge research from leading scientists around the world.

We also have a range of networking opportunities to allow you to exchange ideas and build links to aid your next career step. Explore the exciting sessions below and make sure you have a look through the full programme to plan your time at Congress.

For a guide to everything you need to know about BSI Congress 2021, including important COVID-19 information to read before arriving and tips to help you make the most of your Congress experience, read our blog here.

Make sure you’re following @bsicongress on Twitter to stay updated and include the official conference hashtag #BSI21 in your posts to connect with other attendees!

We look forward to welcoming many of you to Edinburgh!

Visit the Congress website

Scientific highlights

Keynote session – in this prestigious session, Dr Rafi Ahmed will discuss ‘T cell lifestyle in chronic viral infections and cancer: Implications for immunotherapy’. This is a ‘must attend’ talk for all immunologists and promises the chance to hear Dr Ahmed discuss his groundbreaking research. 
18:00–19:00, Sunday 28 November

Metabolic programming of immune responses – plenary session featuring Prof Andrew Mellor, Prof Edward Pearce and Dr Alice Prince
09:00–10:30, Monday 29 November

Human genetic determinants of infection and inflammation – plenary session featuring Dr Carl Anderson and Dr Jean-Laurent Casanova
16:30–17:30, Monday 29 November

Defining the state and functional relevance of T cell exhaustion – plenary session featuring Dr Andrea Schietinger, Dr Benjamin Youngblood and Prof Dietmar Zehn
09:00–10:30, Tuesday 30 November

Calling time on immunology – plenary session featuring Prof Andrew Loudon and Prof Christoph Scheiermann
16:30–17:30, Tuesday 30 November

Defining immune microenvironments in organogenesis, inflammation and cancer – plenary session featuring Prof Michael Brenner, Prof Reina Mebius and Dr Jacqueline Shields
09:00–10:30, Wednesday 1 December
Immunology in action: controlling COVID-19 – plenary session featuring Dame Prof Sarah Gilbert and Prof Paul Moss
16:30–17:30, Wednesday 1 December

Industry Satellite Symposia

13:15–14:10, Monday 29 November
Reimage Immunology with Single Cell and Spatial Multiomics
Speaker: Dr Stephen Hague, Science & Technology Advisor, 10x Genomics
13:15–14:10, Tuesday 30 November
Whole Transcriptome Digital Spatial Profiling and subcellular multi-omic Spatial Molecular Imaging
Speaker: Dr Bryan Serrels, Application Scientist nanoString: nanoString Spatial Biology
Visualising in deceased COVID-19 patients how SARS-CoV-2 attacks respiratory and olfactory mucosae but spares the olfactory bulb
Speaker: Dr Peter Mombaerts, Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics


At the annual general meeting you can learn about the work of your Society, what activities we have carried out in the past year and what our plans are to support members and represent immunology in the UK. We encourage as many members as possible to attend.
17:30–18:00, Monday 29 November

BSI sessions

We have a number of additional sessions running in which you can increase your knowledge on a range of topics that can boost your career and widen your horizons.

Bright Sparks in Immunology – This exciting event highlights some of the most innovative and cutting-edge science from PhD students and early career postdocs, combining friendly competition with excellent science and networking!
12:30–16:00, Sunday 28 November
Engaging with the public about COVID-19 vaccines – Join the panel discussion to increase your skills in having conversations about COVID-19 vaccines with the public, hear about different experiences and ask your questions.
16:00–16:45, Sunday 28 November
Immunology funding opportunities: meet the funders – An interactive session to ask your questions to three of the key research funders on their funding priorities and how to write a successful grant application.
13:15–14:10, Monday 29 November
Meet the BSI Trustees, Committee members and Editors-in-Chief – Come along to the BSI stand to meet our Trustees, Committee members and the Editors-in-Chief of our journals to find out about their roles and explore how you can get involved.
18:00–19:30, Monday 29 November
How to accelerate your career through engaging with journals – A panel discussion for ECRs to ask their questions about how to build experience as a reviewer and gain skills through engaging with journals.
13:15–14:10, Tuesday 30 November
Education meet-up – An informal meet-up for anyone interested in teaching in which you will get the chance to discuss current topics in the field and share ideas, techniques and resources.
18:00–19:00, Tuesday 30 November
Meet the BSI Groups – Our Regional and Affinity Groups play a huge role in our work, connecting us with our members and running events. Meet our Groups and discover how you can get involved.
18:00–19:00, Tuesday 30 November
Origami activity – Join us to discover our new origami folding activity! Come along to discuss the latest successes and challenges in public engagement. Test your creative skills and take a moment out of the busy conference for some mindful folding. Stay tuned for more details on the date and time.

Presentation theatre

Throughout the conference, you can pop into the presentation theatre in the Exhibition Hall for 15-minute showcases presented by the BSI and our Corporate Sponsors on a variety of topics.

BSI presentations

  • BSI Immunology and COVID-19 Taskforce: how has the BSI represented the immunology community to policymakers during the pandemic?
  • The BSI-NCRI Partnership: bringing together the immunology and cancer research communities
  • Connect Immune Research: breaking down disease-specific research silos
  • Securing our future, the importance of veterinary vaccines: BSI and IVVN collaboration for better animal and human health
  • BSI Career Enhancing Grants: a scheme aimed at promoting career development and progression
  • Communicating Immunology: how the BSI can support your public engagement activities

Presentations from our Corporate Sponsors

  • FLUIDIGM: Simple and Affordable High-Throughput High-Dimensional Cytometry – INTRODUCING THE CYTOF XT
  • TAKARA BIO EUROPE SAS: A complete solution for expressing and purifying vaccine targets with BakPAK Baculovirus Expression System and Capturem
  • CURIOX BIOSYSTEMS: Next-Generation Cell Preparation with Laminar Wash™ technology
  • BECKMAN COULTER LIFE SCIENCES: Cytobank platform: From data to insight – How analysis tools can support high complexity flow cytometry research
  • STEMCELL TECHNOLOGIES: Tools for Immunology Research

Connect with us

The BSI is keen to keep you up to date with all the latest news from the BSI Congress. There are several ways you can connect with us.

  • Visit our website:
  • Follow us on Twitter at @bsicongress or #BSI21
  • Find us at the BSI stand: the BSI team will be at stand number 11 in the exhibition area. Do stop by to say hello – we’d love to see you!


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