Call for expressions of interest to join the BSP Council

The BSP Council is seeking Expressions of Interest from its membership to join council. We seek diverse representation from parasitologists at ALL stages of their careers. We are seeking to appoint independent investigators (including those at early stages of their career) as Ordinary Council Members – with a view to exploring opportunities as officers of the Society in the future. We are seeking to appoint new postgraduate representatives and to introduce postdoctoral representatives on Council for the first time. Expressions of interest should comprise a short (<2 page) CV and a succinct biographical statement (of less than 400 words) explaining why you want to serve on council and what you would hope to achieve as a result. Expressions of Interest should be sent directly to the Honorary General Secretary (Dr Kevin Tyler, k.tyler@uea.ac.uk) by Friday 30th May 2019. We look forward to hearing from you.

Congratulations to our 2019 Medal Winners and new Honorary Members

CA Wright Memorial Medal 2019 awarded to:

Professor Russell Stothard

The CA Wright Memorial Medal offers the opportunity for the British Society of Parasitology to recognise a member of the Society who has not only made an outstanding contribution to discipline of parasitology, but also offers the opportunity to confirm their achievements to date as a distinguished leader in their respective field. This sentiment is in keeping with the work and impact of Chris Wright, then Director of the Experimental Taxonomy Unit at the Natural History Museum and the Society's President at the time of his untimely death in 1983, and in whose memory this commemorative medal was instigated.

It is with great pleasure that the Society announces the recipient of the 2019 CA Wright Memorial Medal; Professor J Russell Stothard of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Russell will be awarded his medal during the upcoming Spring Meeting of the British Society of Parasitology (April 15-17th) at the University of Manchester. As part of his presentation, Russell will give a talk entitled “Some Personal Reflections on Connections, Collaborations and Cross-overs: Three Important ‘Cs’ in A Career in Schistosomiasis Research and Control”.

Russ Stothard

BSP President’s Medal 2019 awarded to:

Dr Mattie Pawlowic

This year the British Society of Parasitology has inaugurated a new award - the President’s Medal. This medal is awarded to a member of the Society to recognise an outstanding early career researcher who, as well as providing a marked impact to the field of parasitology, demonstrates ambitions consistent with the potential to achieve a world-leading status within our community.

It is with great pleasure that the Society announces the first recipient of the President’s Medal; Dr Mattie Christine Pawlowic of Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research at the University of Dundee. Mattie will be awarded her medal during the upcoming Spring Meeting of the British Society of Parasitology (April 15-17th) at the University of Manchester. As part of her presentation, Mattie will give a talk entitled “Cryptosporidium, a genetically tractable parasite”.

mattie

The BSP recognises the outstanding contribution of its members with Honorary Memberships:

Professor Simon Croft, Professor Diana Williams and Professor Jozef Vercruysse

The BSP is pleased to announce the award of three new Honorary Members for 2019. These awards recognise the sustained and outstanding contribution of these individuals to the field of Parasitology through research, the promotion and dissemination of parasitology as well as recognising service to our Society. These Honorary Memberships are being made to Professor Simon Croft (pictured left) of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Diana Williams (pictured centre) of the University of Liverpool and Professor Jozef Vercruysse (pictured right) of Ghent University. These awards will be formally announced to the membership at the Annual General Meeting of the Society to be held during the Spring Meeting at The University of Manchester. Simon, Diana and Jozef will all be attending this year’s meeting.

 

Wellcome Centre Anti-Infectives Research Conference

WCAIR_Conference_web_872x340

Venue

University of Dundee

Dates

12 - 15 May 2019

 

The first conference of the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research aims to harness cross-disciplinary and cross-disease learning to accelerate drug discovery and reduce drug candidate attrition rates for infectious diseases affecting low and middle income countries. Conference attendees will take home new ideas and technologies which have been demonstrated to work; applying them to diseases where challenges to drug discovery are hampering progress.

The conference has been formatted to allow active participation of all conference delegates. Each session will feature talks from internationally recognised experts followed by a panel discussion providing the opportunity for the audience to discuss the issues raised with the speakers. There will also be plenty of networking opportunities through poster sessions and evening social events.

The organising committee encourage researchers working within disease endemic countries to attend and bring their first-hand knowledge of the impact of infectious diseases to the discussions. 20 travel bursaries worth up to £1,500 are available to those coming from low and middle income countries to assist with the costs of attending the conference. Thank you to MMV, DNDi, Novartis BioMedical Research Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for sponsoring the travel bursaries.

Further information on registration, travel bursaries and abstract submission can be found on the conference website http://www.lifesci.dundee.ac.uk/research/events/wcair-conference-2019 .

Deadlines

Abstract Submission

Short-talks: 31st October 2018

Posters: 31st December 2018

Registration

Early Bird, closes 30th November 2018: £300

Registration from 1st December 2018: £375

Registration closes: 5th April 2019

Invited Speakers

Bree Aldridge, Tufts University, Boston; Clif Barry, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda; Manu De Rycker, University of Dundee; Natalie Gobeau, Medicines for Malaria Venture; Paul Herrling; Jennifer Keiser, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute; Paul Leeson, Medicinal Chemistry Consultant; Didier Leroy, Medicines for Malaria Venture; James McCarthy, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane; Valerie Mizrahi, University of Cape Town; John Overington, Medicines Discovery Catapult; John Pottage, ViiV Healthcare; Isabela  Ribeiro, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative; Lynn Silver, Anti-bacterial consultant; Thomas Spangenberg, Merck Global Health Institute; Shyam Sundar, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi; Wesley Van Voorhis, University of Washington; Sir Nicholas White, Mahidol University, Thailand and Oxford University, UK; Susan Wyllie, University of Dundee.

 

Follow @WCAIRDundee #SOSID2019 for latest information on the conference.

 

Professor Chris Arme wins Distinguished Parasitologist prize

Chris Arme

Congratulations to Professor Chris Arme who has been awarded the Distinguished Parasitologist prize by the World Federation of Parasitologists, following his nomination by the BSP. The award recognises Chris's career as an academic scientist, his work as a government advisor, and, since his retirement from Keele University, as the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Parasites and Vectors. Chris was a founding member of the BSP in 1962 and later became President of the Society.

NC3Rs 2019 Funding – Launch Event on 4th Sept 2018

The NC3Rs will soon be launching their new funding scheme priority area for 2019.

The 2019 funding highlight notice will be aimed at encouraging greater use of non-mammalian model organisms for 3Rs purposes, and it will run across all of their response mode funding schemes.  They will be launching the highlight notice at a forthcoming workshop in central London on 4 September.  The workshop will be a great opportunity to hear about the scientific and 3Rs applications of non-mammalian model organisms, learn more about the highlight notice and how to submit a competitive application to the NC3Rs, showcase relevant research and meet new potential partners to submit a grant application with.

The non-mammalian model organisms considered within remit of the highlight notice are:

  1. Drosophila
  2. Nematodes, e.g. C. elegans
  3. Galleria mellonella
  4. Zebrafish embryos and larvae (prior to protection under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, less than 5 days post-fertilisation (dpf))

Further details on priority areas, the launch workshop and how to register (by 21st August) are available here.

Hydra Conference on Parasitic Helminths – New Perspectives in Biology and Infection

We are pleased to announce that the Hydra Conference on Parasitic Helminths - New Perspectives in Biology and Infection, at the Bratsera Hotel, Hydra, Greece, will be held from 1 to 6 September 2019.  After 12 successful meetings under the banner of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Helminth Parasites, the Conference has a new name, but will keep its special atmosphere of cutting-edge science and extensive discussion within a small meeting format.  We are also returning to the same beautiful venue that has hosted the Conference since 2002, and the meeting is being co-organised by Richard E. Davis, Niki Gounaris, Rick Maizels and Murray Selkirk.

The conference will begin on the evening of Sunday 1 September, and run through until the evening of Thursday 5 September; delegates will depart on the morning of Friday 6 September.  As in previous meetings, most presentations will be selected from submitted Abstracts in themed sessions, together with an exciting set of invited speakers representing helminth research from around the world:

Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado  (Keynote), Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Wellington, Kansas City, USA

Amy Buck, Institute for Immunology and Infection, University of Edinburgh, UK

Luisa Cochella, Institute for Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria

Alison Elliott, MRC Uganda Virus Institute, Entebbe, Uganda

Carolina Escobar, University of Castilla La Mancha, Toledo, Spain

Elodie Ghedin, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University, USA

Nicola Harris, Immunology and Pathology, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Karl Hoffmann, Aberystwyth University, UK

P'ng Loke, Department of Microbiology (Parasitology), New York University, USA

Peter Sarkies, MRC London Institute for Medical Sciences, Imperial College London, UK

William Sullivan, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California Santa Cruz, USA

In 2019, the Conference will include a special Mini-Symposium on Small RNAs combining both invited speakers and talks chosen from Abstracts. In addition there will be around 40 oral presentations selected from the Abstracts, and a similar number of Posters; the poster sessions are kept to a limited size and all presenters give a 2-minute "Poster Pitch" to the whole conference immediately before the session, which has proven an excellent formula to maximise interest in every poster.

We will be extending the period for registration on the Conference website, http://hydra.bio.ed.ac.uk, to start from Monday 14 January 2019.  The closing date for registration will be Friday 29 March.

As capacity of the meeting is limited to 100 participants, please await confirmation before making travel arrangements. In case of over-subscription, places will be allocated on the basis of abstracts. Confirmation of participation will be sent shortly after the closing date. The registration fee (which includes all events, refreshments, some evening meals etc) will be announced shortly prior to registration. No payment will be required prior to confirmation.

We would also like to draw attention to our Bursary scheme which will cover costs for a small number of younger scientists from Africa, Asia and Latin America to attend the Conference.

We will be pleased to answer any questions if you contact us on Hydra@ed.ac.uk.

Finally, we are delighted that from 2019 two great new investigators will join the Hydra Organising Committee, Dr Amy Buck (University of Edinburgh, UK), and Dr Jim Collins (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA). Please feel free to contact any of us with comments or suggestions about the Conference.

We're sure that this will be another exciting and enjoyable meeting, with the same informal and interactive atmosphere as in previous years. We look forward to seeing you there!

Richard E. Davis, Niki Gounaris, Rick Maizels, Murray Selkirk

Cystic Echinococcus: accelerating advocacy and research

Workshop in Lima, Peru on 16-19 October 2018 funded by the Researcher Links scheme

Under the Researcher Links scheme offered within the Newton Fund, the British Council and the Peruvian Council for Science and Technology (CONCYTEC) will be holding a workshop on cystic echinococcus in Lima (Peru) on 16-19 October 2018. The workshop is being coordinated by the University of Surrey (UK) and the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Peru), and will have contributions from other leading researchers. We are now inviting Early Career Researchers (with less than 10 years post PhD or equivalent research experience) from the UK or Peru to apply to attend this workshop. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Research Links programme. 10 places are available. 

Applications are now open until 1 August 2018. Apply now

Congratulations to the BSP Spring Meeting 2018 Poster Prize winners

The British Society of Parasitology congratulates the winners of the Spring Meeting poster prize competition sponsored by Parasites & Vectors and Malaria Journal (BMC) and Elsevier. The following winners were selected from some 100 posters presented at the meeting held at Aberystwyth University.

Janine Coombes – University of Liverpool: “Developing a 3D intestinal epithelium model for studying gastrointestinal infections of livestock species”

Alessandra Crusco – Aberystwyth University: “Design, synthesis and antihelmintic activity of 7-keto-sempervirol analogues”

Zandile Nare – University of Edinburgh: “Towards new drugs for trypanosomatid diseases based on specific high-affinity inhibitors of RNA editing ligase 1” (pictured centre)

Tegwen Mariais – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: “Comparative ‘omics’ for identification of coproantigens for diagnosis of Strongyloides stercoralis infection” (pictured left)

Maria Ines Neves – The Royal Veterinary College – “Estimating schistosome worm burdens using parental analysis” (pictured right)

Many thanks to our sponsors and to the poster judges: Kevin Tyler, Domenico Otranto, Frank Katzner, Maria-Gloria Basanez (BMC editors), Paul Horrocks, Paul Denny and Poppy Lamberton.