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New BSI committee members announced

Following our recent nominations call for positions on the BSI Board of Trustees and Forum, we are pleased to announce the following appointments. All candidates were elected unopposed.

  • Peter Openshaw (Imperial College London) was re-elected as President. His new term of office will commence from January 2018.
  • Fiona Culley (Imperial College London) was elected as Treasurer. She will take over from Lindsay Nicholson in January 2018, having shadowed him from July 2017.
  • Simon Milling (University of Glasgow) was elected as Trustee. He will join the Board from July 2017.
  • Ceri Fielding (Cardiff University) was elected to the BSI Forum as regional representative for Wales. He joins us from April 2017.
  • Simon Jochems (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) and Laura Pallett (University College London) were elected to join the Forum as Early Careers representatives. They both start their term of office from April 2017.

Their candidate statements are included below.

Board of Trustees: President

Professor Peter Openshaw

Peter Openshaw“I have enjoyed being President for the past 3 years, but time's flashed by.

“We reformed the BSI’s Board, enlisting expertise from non-immunologists; appointed a new CEO and a Head of Finance and Business and thoroughly re-structured of the BSI office. This has enhanced our engagement with the membership and externally, enriching our influence and strategic direction.

“We have developed a new strategy and brought focus to our desire to translate basic discoveries into novel immunological treatments. We have established an industry liaison committee and extended the work of our clinical group. The move of our head office from Vauxhall to Red Lion Square has not only saved us money but put us closer to organisations such as the MRC, Wellcome and the Crick. We now have our own front door – an architect-designed office space that is a pleasure to work in. We have enhanced our conference organisation, leading to the largest and most successful Congress in our history.

“I look forward to handing over to a successor but want to see the BSI through a couple more crucial years. Jo Revill and I are working very closely with the BSI staff on the challenges of Brexit, the concerns over the changes in the political landscape and the effects that this may have on research.

“I would be pleased to be elected for a second term and look forward to continuing to serve the membership as we deliver on our 5-year plan.”

Peter was nominated by BSI members Doreen Cantrell and Gavin Screaton.


Board of Trustees: Treasurer

Dr Fiona Culley

“I am a Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Immunology at Imperial College London. I am an enthusiastic and long standing member of the BSI with a track record of successful management and involvement in its activities. I joined the BSI as an undergraduate, became a committee member of the London Immunology Group as a post-doc and I ran the group from 2007–2010. I have participated in numerous BSI outreach activities, the Young Immunologists Forum, and have judged ‘Bright Sparks’ and presented and chaired at Congress. I am currently England regional representative on the BSI Forum (the think tank of the BSI) and am a BSI media spokesperson.

“I believe that the BSI should continue to support its members at all stages of their careers and it is more important than ever that the BSI be a strong voice for immunology. The BSI can only achieve its objectives from a secure financial footing. My long standing experience and involvement with the BSI means I can bring perspective, oversight and appreciation of the long term goals and direction of the organisation to the role of treasurer. I plan to ensure that the BSI is in a strong position to work with our members and our national and international partners, to maintain our core activities, through Congress and support of regional and affinity groups, and to develop our priorities and strategy for the future.”

Fiona was nominated by BSI members Leonie Taams and Cecilia Johansson.


Board of Trustees: Trustee

Dr Simon Milling

“I am standing for the position of BSI Trustee. I want to help the Society continue to thrive and grow, and to support all kinds of immunologists. I believe I have the skills and experience to be able to contribute to the future success of the organisation.

“I have been a BSI member since I was a PhD student in London in 1992. Through the Annual Congress, and the Regional and Affinity Groups, the BSI has supported me throughout my career, providing opportunities for scientific collaboration, grants for travel, and networking opportunities to find each of my positions. More recently, I have been more involved as a speaker and organiser of events, as well as a participant. I have begun to appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes to plan, organise and deliver these events. As a member of the BSI Forum, I have begun to contribute to BSI policy, and gained a better understanding of how the organisation works.

“I would like to begin to repay some of what I have received from the Society. As a Trustee, I will endeavour to help ensure that the BSI continues to serve the needs of immunologists, focussing its efforts on building networks to support us at all career levels, on working to promote awareness of immunology among the public, and on ensuring that our professional voice is heard in government during these interesting times.”

Simon was nominated by BSI members Jim Brewer and David Withers.

Forum: Regional representative – Wales

Dr Ceri Fielding

“I am currently a research fellow in Infection and Immunity at School of Medicine, Cardiff University investigating immune evasion by human cytomegalovirus. I moved to Cardiff for my PhD at the University of Wales College of Medicine, after my undergraduate degree at the University of Warwick.

“I have been a member of the BSI for 17 years and became Treasurer of the South Wales BSI Regional Group in July 2015. The role of treasurer has involved taking an active role in organising our weekly BSI seminar series together with the chairman, organising sponsorship, liaising with hosting departmental members and submitting speakers’ expense claims.  It has also involved contributing to the Society through the Treasurers’ meetings.

“As a member of the BSI Forum, I would make a full contribution to Forum meetings to aid the BSI’s role in promoting research, teaching, innovation, policy and engagement in immunology within the UK, Europe and worldwide. I would use my standpoint as a member of the immunology research community and give views and ideas from colleagues locally and throughout the rest of Wales.”

Ceri was nominated by BSI members Stephan Cacheteaux and Ian Humphreys.


Forum: Early Career representative

Dr Laura Pallett

“The BSI has contributed to the success I have enjoyed this far in my career. I feel that it is now time for me to repay this by becoming part of the Forum. My BSI-funded attendance at numerous conferences has given me the opportunity to disseminate my research, inspire PhD students and learn from senior investigators. Having come from a background in Medical Biochemistry, I have continued my career under the guidance of Prof Mala Maini at UCL progressing from PhD through to postdoc.

“Whilst my own research has focused on immunometabolism in the context of hepatitis B, I take a keen interest in all areas of clinical immunology ranging from immunotherapeutics to bioinformatics. Some of this passion recently resulted in my founding and co-authoring of our lab’s Twitter feed, where we aim to use social media to infect the public with knowledge of current scientific trends. In doing so we hope to overcome the knowledge gap that so often exists between the public and cutting-edge scientific research.

“I’m also an active member of the Athena Swan committee within our Division, where I passionately encourage colleagues to recognise contributions made by women to the scientific community. As I am at an early stage in my own career, alongside my passion for scientific communication and willingness to participate on equality committees, I believe I represent the views of those starting a career in the world of immunology.”

Laura was nominated by BSI members Leonie Taams and Arne Akbar.


Forum: Early Career representative

Dr Simon Jochems

“As an immunologist interested in translational research, I have focused on diseases that disproportionately affect the poorest in the world. I first studied immune activation in natural hosts of SIV infection, focusing on the epigenetic effects of inflammation, during my PhD studies at the Institut Pasteur, Paris. Since joining the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, I have investigated mucosal immunity in the context of a controlled human pneumococcus infection model.

“My experience working as a researcher in several different countries has given me the opportunity to learn about the challenges facing early stage researchers universally. I think that there is an excellent opportunity for the BSI to serve as a national platform to help early stage researchers to achieve their career goals, whether they lie in academia or in alternative scientific career paths. As an early career representative, I will give a voice to young members of BSI and pursue new initiatives for supporting the career development of early stage researchers.”

Simon was nominated by BSI members Britta Urban and Richard Pleass.


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