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New BSI Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is crucial to our work, ensuring the Society is well run, financially sound and that it meets its charitable aims and objectives. We’re delighted to welcome Professor Deborah Dunn-Walters (who was re-elected), Dr Divya Shah, Professor Jessica Strid and David Pemberton, who joined the Board in July 2023.

Deborah Dunn-Walters

Deborah Dunn-Walters

BSI General Trustee
Professor of Immunology, University of Surrey

I have been a member of BSI for over 20 years and have benefitted greatly from the networking opportunities afforded by BSI Congress and BSI Regional & Affinity Group meetings. I feel that it is extremely important that we maintain and reinforce our welcome to our fellow immunologists from all backgrounds. In particular, we should continue and build upon the BSI’s efforts to support ECRs through the often-difficult transition between post-doc years and later career, whichever sector that may be in.

My own scientific interests lie in B cell development in health and disease, looking through the lens of the adaptive immune repertoire. I have also studied the ageing of the normal human B cell repertoire for over two decades, and I am a co-director of the CARINA network. In my first term as BSI General Trustee, I have been proud to be part of an organisation that has expanded their membership and activities, as well as having a huge influence through the pandemic, providing expert advice at all levels, some of which I witnessed first-hand as Chair of the BSI COVID-19 Immunology Taskforce.

I am looking forward to continuing to support the Society, with particular emphasis on helping ECRs through their research journey.

David Pemberton image

David Pemberton

BSI Co-opted Trustee and Finance Sub Committee member
Director, Railway Paths and Professor of Practice, Nottingham University

I think it’s very valuable to experience charity governance from an executive and non-executive perspective. As a charity manager who has always held at least one additional voluntary position as a finance trustee, I’m pleased to bring a focus on good governance and operations from a balanced experience of those two roles around a board table. In over fifteen years of charity finance and governance experience, I have enjoyed working with stakeholders to solve societal issues, and, particularly, creating environments of high trust, high expectation and high accountability.

I’m not only enthusiastic about the BSI’s mission, but also about using insightful financial analysis and planning to produce practical and coherent business plans. I believe it’s important for a Board of Trustees to be passionate about the charity’s mission, but you won’t change the world if you can’t balance the books! I’m looking forward to working with the BSI Board of Trustees and team to ensure that the Society continues to be financially sustainable.

Picture of Doctor Divya Shah

Divya Shah

BSI General Trustee
Research Lead in Sites & Systems, Infectious Diseases, Wellcome Trust

After completing my PhD in Immunology at Imperial College London, I undertook postdoctoral fellowships in Canada and the UK. In 2015 I changed careers and joined Wellcome, the UK’s largest biomedical research charity. I led and contributed to various immunology-focused initiatives such as immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, allergy and neuroimmunology. In 2021, as Epidemics Research Lead, I drove Wellcome’s epidemic preparedness and response activities, and I established an international COVID-19 genomics surveillance initiative. My current role involves strengthening the enabling environment for research ecosystems, and supporting access to affordable vaccines and treatments, in low- and middle-income countries.

I am delighted to be re-elected as a BSI Trustee. I will use my term to advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and help embed the Diversity & Inclusion Framework, and will continue to champion opportunities for early career researchers and for those who want to pursue a career outside traditional academia. I hope to bring the knowledge and skills that I have gained in academic research, funding, science strategy, leadership and management to support scientific discovery in immunology and have a positive impact on health and society.

Jessica Strid

Jessica Strid

BSI General Trustee
Professor of Cellular Immunology, Imperial College London

I am not only slightly obsessed by all things immunology but also a big supporter of the work that the BSI does for all us immunologists. I became a member of the BSI as soon as I started my PhD and have attended the BSI Congress every year since 2000. It has enabled me to meet many of the great immunologists in the UK and beyond, and has been fantastic for generating ideas and forming collaborations. I also attend and contribute to as many of the BSI local seminar series and events as I can.

I am a firm believer that the BSI is in no small part contributing to the success of the immunology field in the UK. I am keen to contribute to the BSI and help advance both immunology research, education, public outreach and EDI within our field. I have previously been a BSI Congress Committee member and I have a good notion of the impactful work that the BSI does. I have plenty of ideas, and I am energetic, responsible and happy to speak my mind. I am proud to sit on the Board and represent you all as a BSI Trustee.

Find out more

Find out more about our Board here.