The UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium was showcased at the British Society for Immunology's (BSI) virtual conference, Connecting immunology in the time of COVID-19 this week.
The virtual setting allowed almost 800 delegates from around the world to attend, including consortium members and many of the UK’s leading immunologists.
UK-CIC Principal Investigator, Professor Paul Moss, presented an overview of the consortium's scope and goals, and some of the work achieved so far. He emphasised how the collaborative approach of the consortium had benefitted progress so far, as well as some of the challenges encountered. Paul was followed by Dr John Grainger, a consortium member from the University of Manchester who is focusing on research theme one (primary immunity) and presented a talk titled Myeloid cell features associated with COVID-19.
To finish the session, the BSI were pleased to introduce Sir Patrick Vallance , Government Chief Scientific Advisor and Head of the Government Science and Engineering profession, who gave an inspiring speech about the extraordinary achievements made by the scientific community by coming together during the outbreak. He also commended the collaborative approach that UK-CIC has taken in bringing the UK immunology community together to work at speed to deliver insights into the immunological workings of COVID-19.
The conference also included a session for Early Career Researchers called Bright Sparks. In the session, Emily Stephenson, a PhD student at Newcastle University, gave a presentation titled Deciphering the cellular and molecular immune response to COVID-19 using single cell multi-omics. Emily has been working with Professor Muzlifah Haniffa (also Newcastle University) who is a UK-CIC collaborator working on theme one (primary immunity).
The delegates were very pleased to hear about the work of UK-CIC, and sent in lots of insightful questions for Paul and John to answer. The event was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the consortium to the wider immunology community, and for consortium members at the event to discuss their work with their peers.