As the BSI membership magazine, Immunology News is an important channel that enables our mission to be a focal hub for the immunology community. With it, we aim to not only highlight how we’re supporting our members and representing immunology on a wider stage, but also to amplify the voice of our membership. Following last year’s call for BSI members to get involved with the magazine, we are pleased to introduce our revamped Editorial Advisory Board.
Professor Ann Ager
My day job as an immunologist focuses on understanding how T lymphocytes move around the body to protect against infection, control cancer growth and contribute to neurodegeneration, such as in Alzheimer's disease. I started my postgraduate research career in vascular biology, switching to immunology when I worked with Professor Bill Ford in Manchester. I’m now Professor of Cellular Immunity and Immunotherapy at Cardiff University. More than 35 years ago and in an attempt to get up to speed with immunology (a daunting task!), I joined the BSI. I soon realised that the BSI is much less formal and more inclusive than other learned societies – I was hooked and have been a member ever since.
I endeavour to be a role model by voicing my opinion and standing for positions of responsibility. For example, I served as Chair of the Membership Representatives Forum (previously known as Forum) and on the Board of Trustees (2019–2022) and have been a council member of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) since 2019. Immunology News is a very important channel for communicating and engaging with BSI members and, as part of the Editorial Advisory Board, I hope to support and encourage participation, addressing those issues important for the future of immunology such as career development, mentorship, training and scientific integrity.
Professor Edd James
I’m Professor in Cancer Immunology and Associate Dean for Infrastructure in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton, looking at the fundamental questions about how antigens are processed for presentation on MHC class I molecules in disease. After my PhD in the lab of Elizabeth Simpson at Imperial College London I moved into the field of antigen processing and presentation as a Wellcome Trust travelling fellow in the lab of Nilabh Shastri at the University of California at Berkeley. When I returned to the UK in 2006, I established my group at the University of Southampton. My team investigates the role antigen processing and presentation plays in generating immune responses in cancer, infectious disease and autoimmunity, with a focus on the aminopeptidases ERAP1 and ERAP2, and how these processes can be modulated for therapeutic benefit.
I joined the BSI in 1997, and I very much enjoy meeting old and new friends at the BSI Congress. It’s fantastic to be able to listen to the latest discoveries and play an active role through session suggestions, chairing and presenting. I’m part of the Immunology News Editorial Advisory Board to help shine a light on areas of immunology that are not in the main spotlight and promote accessibility to all in the immunology community.
Dr Louisa James
I am a Senior Lecturer in Immunology at the Blizard Institute, Barts and The London Medical School, Queen Mary University of London. My research aims to better understand how immune memory is regulated and maintained; my group works on human B cell biology in the context of inflammatory disease. We combine high throughput sequencing of antibody genes with single-cell RNA sequencing to analyse human B cells from blood and tissue. Alongside this we use molecular cloning and recombinant expression to generate monoclonal antibodies, to determine their functional characteristics.
Having been a BSI member for nearly 20 years (I attended my first BSI congress as a PhD student in 2004), I feel very much a part of the immunology community. As well as attending BSI Congress and other BSI events, I am part of the London Immunology Group and have participated in various public engagement activities on behalf of the BSI. Being on the Immunology News Editorial Advisory Board is a great opportunity to contribute to that community, share ideas, and promote the work and achievements of our colleagues. It also benefits me in keeping up to date with events and learning about the continued advances in research.
Dr Donald Palmer
I am currently Associate Professor of Immunology at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), University of London, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London. My main research interests are focused on understanding the effect of age on the immune system; in particular, the contribution of the microenvironment towards immunosenescence.
In over 30 years as an active member, the BSI has been invaluable to my development and career, and I’ve had the opportunity to ‘give back’ to the immunology community in a number of ways. I’ve volunteered for various roles, including my current role as BSI Education & Careers Secretary, and have been involved in organising events, engaging with the public and developing ideas towards the BSI's strategic goals, and I’m so honoured to be joint winner of the Society's inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Award. Being part of the Editorial Advisory Board for Immunology News is another way in which I’m contributing to the BSI’s mission, highlighting cutting-edge research, unique topics in immunology, different career paths and support for early career researchers.
Dr Zania Stamataki
I am a viral immunologist with expertise in liver disease, based at the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham. I first joined the BSI as a PhD student at Imperial College London with the Institute for Animal Health and remained a member as a postdoc at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge and as an early career principal investigator funded by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship at the Centre for Liver Research in Birmingham.
I am now associate professor in viral immunology and hold an intermediate career fellowship funded by the Medical Research Foundation (UKRI). I love being a part of the dynamic, warm and supportive BSI community, and I have benefitted and contributed over the years as a member and as previous Chair of the West Midlands Regional Group.
I am academic lead for researcher development at my college, and I am passionate about developing others and communicating science. Have you checked out the BSI mentoring scheme yet? My top values include integrity, innovation and impact, and I enjoy interdisciplinary projects and working with industry. In my current role, I represent mid-career researcher viewpoints, with a focus in underrepresented groups. I would love to hear from you to discuss your ideas for contributions!
I am a 4th year PhD Student based at the Institute of Medical Sciences within the University of Aberdeen. My project focuses on the interactions between macrophages and bacteria, predominantly Salmonella species, with a specific focus on the intracellular adaptor protein p62 and its role in immune signalling post-infection. Looking ahead, I want to find that balance between my passion for research and my passion for teaching.
I joined the BSI during my MSc at LSHTM, where, as part of the course, we went to the BSI Winter School in Nottingham. I have been a member ever since, taking part in some of the regional conferences around the UK and various training schemes. I am now using my membership for a new venture, being part of the magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, where I hope I will be able to bring a perspective of what PhD students and early career researchers might be interested in reading about.
Call for contributions
We’re always looking for ideas and articles to feature in upcoming Immunology News editions. Whether you’d like to highlight your career path to others or inspire others with your expertise, please get in touch. We’re particularly interested in having a diversity of voices that represents our strong community of immunologists. Please contact us to pitch us your submission, at email@example.com.