At the 2019 British Society for Immunology Congress, we were delighted to award Lifetime Honorary Membership of our Society to four members in recognition of their outstanding contribution to immunology and to the Society. They are Doreen Cantrell, Anne Cooke, Andrew McMichael and Peter Openshaw. This honour is awarded after rigorous discussion and a vote by the Trustees. At the Congress Opening Ceremony, tributes were led by BSI Trustee and Chair of Forum Ann Ager and a summary is available below.
Professor Doreen Cantrell CBE is Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow, Head of the College of Life Sciences and Vice Principal of the University of Dundee. She has dedicated her career to immunology and in particular T cells. She has skilfully unravelled networks of enzymes and other effectors within the cell that regulate all aspects of T cells including their development, migration, metabolism and response to invading pathogens. Doreen has received multiple awards for her contribution to immunology and the life sciences. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and EMBO. She was appointed Commander of the British Empire in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list for her services to life sciences.
Anne Cooke is Professor of Immunobiology at the University of Cambridge. Anne's research focused on the area of autoimmunity and her findings have been used to generate improved strategies for the treatment of autoimmune pathology and opened up new avenues for potential novel therapies. She recently finished her term of office as a BSI Trustee, serving both as the organisation’s Vice-President and leading the BSI Forum during this time. During Anne’s dynamic and enthusiastic leadership of Forum, the committee led on several important BSI strategies, with a particular focus to increase support and representation for early career researchers within the Society. Outside of research, Anne has carried a large teaching load through which she has mentored and inspired many early career scientists and clinicians into immunology research. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Biology.
Andrew McMichael is a pioneer in T cell research and has particular expertise in the field of T cell responses to viral infections and in vaccine development. He was the first to show that virus specific CD8 T cells are MHC restricted and that viral peptides are presented to T cells by HLA proteins on the surface of virally infected cells. Recently, he led on the development and testing of vaccines against HIV. Andrew became director of the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in 2000, and remained so until 2012. He also founded the MRC Human Immunology Unit in 1998, serving as Honorary Director for 12 years. He has received a multitude of honours in relation to his work. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences. He was knighted for services to medical sciences in 2008.
Professor Peter Openshaw is Professor of Experimental Medicine and an Honorary Consultant Physician at Imperial College London. He is a leading light in research on lung immunology, in particular viral lung diseases caused by RSV and influenza. Having originally trained under Ita Askonas, he went on to establish his own lab at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School. In 1998, he established the academic department of Respiratory Medicine on the St Mary’s Campus of Imperial College London. He has sat on numerous governmental, grant awarding and international committees. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Biology. Elected as President of the British Society for Immunology in 2013 and served five years in office, he was the first clinician to hold this role. During this time, he oversaw a series of major transformations, including a growth in membership and scope, putting our ambitious strategic plan in place and increasing our policy work.
You can find out more about all the current BSI Honorary Members in our 'About us' section.