The British Society of Parasitology congratulates the winners of the Spring Meeting poster prize competition sponsored by Elsevier and PLoSNTD. 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)
The 2018 Spring Meeting was held from 8th to 11th April at Aberystwyth University.
8th - 11th April 2018
The meeting included Ecological Parasitology, Veterinary Parasitology and the Tryp/Leish Symposium.
Session organisers included: Jo Cable, Iain Chalmers, Rachel Chalmers, Mark Field, Paul Horrocks, Lisa Reimer, Alvaro Acosta Serrano, Richard Wall, Shona Wilson. Local Organisers were: Justin Pachebat, Jo Hamilton, Russ Morphew & Karl Hoffmann.
The meeting featured a fantastic set of public engagement events in addition to the academic programme. This included (with all events open to the public):
- An opening talk on Sunday evening from Prof Peter Chiodini, Consultant Parasitologist at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Director of the Public Health England (PHE) Malaria Reference Laboratory and the PHE National Parasitology Reference Laboratory. Professor Chiodini organises the UK National External Quality Assessment Schemes for Parasitology, is a member of the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens, the PHE Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention in Travellers and advises the National Blood Service on the prevention of transfusion-transmitted parasitic infections.
- A 'Science Cafe' event on Monday evening
- A series of both family-friendly and parasitology-themed films shown in the University's cinema throughout the meeting.
Speakers in the academic programme included:
- Wendy Gibson, Bristol University
- Shahid Khan, Leiden UMC
- Susanne Kramer, Würzburg University
- Annette MacLeod, University of Glasgow
- Pascal Maser, Swiss TPH
- Raymond Pierce, Pasteur Institute
- Jesus Valenzuela, NIAID
- John Thuita, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
- Alex Loukas, James Cook University
- Maria Yazdanbakhsh, Leiden UMC
- Jim Collins, UT Southwestern
- Ron Hokke, Leiden UMC
- Amy Buck, Edinburgh University
- Aaron Maule, Queen’s University Belfast
- Volker Heussler, Bern University
- Tim Yoshino, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Robert Poulin, Otago University
- George Dimopoulos, John Hopkins
- Grace Mulcahy, University College Dublin
- David Thieltges, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
- Nigel Yarlett, PACE
- Domenico Otranto, Bari University
- Sarah Culloty, University College Cork
- Eric Morgan, Queen’s University Belfast
- Jane Hodgkinson, Liverpool University
- Mike Doenhoff, Nottingham University
The CA Wright Memorial medal is awarded by the British Society of Parasitology to recognise individuals who through their research have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the discipline of Parasitology. This year, the Society was pleased to announce that the CA Wright Memorial Medal will be awarded to Dr Annette MacLeod of Glasgow University. Annette will receive her medal on Wednesday 11th April 2018 and deliver her Medal lecture entitled “Trypanosomes get under your skin”. Here she will describe how the impact of natural genetic variation in both Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and human host, as well as her discovery of overlooked reservoirs of the parasite in skin, can be exploited to combat sleeping sickness.
We have previously held a very successful photographic competition and we hope to revive this for this year’s BSP Spring Conference at Aberystwyth University @BSPaber2018.
For this year’s competition we have two categories:
1) My Favourite Parasite
2) Parasitology and Me.
To enter this year’s competition, please send a picture (photo or drawing) of your favourite parasite, or a picture of what parasitology is for you, to firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE for submissions 2nd APRIL.
Please also send a brief descriptor (max. 100 words) of your entry that can be used to explain the image.
We intend to exhibit all of the photos we receive at an exhibition at the BSP spring meeting.
The winner for each category will receive their photo, beautifully framed, at the meeting.
Photo competition rules:
- Entries must be at least 4 megapixels in size.
- Colour OR black and white images are acceptable.
- The photographer/creator must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of the pictures entered into the competition.
- Any pictures that we consider to be objectionable will be deleted. Reasons for deletion includes abusive, obscene, slanderous, threatening, pornographic and law-breaking images.
- All rights retained by the entrants. However, the British Society for Parasitology shall be free to use all entries for the purposes of future promotion. By entering you agree that any image you submit may be used by the British Society for Parasitology solely for the purposes of promotion.
- All entrants are deemed to have accepted the rules and agreed to be bound by them.
- You agree to accept all liability for the legality of content you submit and will not hold the British Society for Parasitology responsible for any damages that may result.
A recent issue of Philosophical Transactions B - "Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission", compiled and edited by Joanne Lello and Andy Fenton, is now completely FREE to access!
The articles can be accessed directly at http://rstb.
On 4th April 2018, Prof Robert Poulin from New Zealand will be in Cardiff to talk about: “Evolution of the body snatchers: the secret lives of parasites”. The talk will be at Cardiff University, Main Building, Wallace Lecture Theatre 6-7pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend!
Did you know that the BSP has a YouTube channel hosting content from our meetings and symposia?
Our YouTube channel hosts videos made at BSP meetings, including this one describing the benefits of BSP membership, filmed at our Cambridge Spring Meeting, and this one of a debate session held at the Salford symposium of 2014, entitled 'A Scientist's Perspective on Ebola and the Spread of Infectious Disease'.
For the first time in 2017 the entire Autumn Symposium (held at the Linnean Society in London, September 2017) was videoed. The talks are now posted as a playlist on the YouTube channel. Autumn Symposia are traditionally relatively small, intimate events focussing on particular subjects areas, but some BSP members have expressed an interest in being able to attend 'remotely' if they cannot make a symposium in person. We are therefore trialling a fully-filmed symposium, and would welcome feedback from our members.
The next SBPz Conference will be held in Caxambu, Brazil, 5-7th November 2018.
5-7th Nov 2018
The next annual conference of the Brazilian Society of Protozoology - with which the BSP has a reciprocal membership-rates agreement - has been scheduled. Follow the website for more details.
The British Society of Immunology (BSI) has recently conducted a landscape review of immunology careers. This was conducted to better understand the career progression of immunologists and the factors that may affect this. The report based on this work was published last week, and there are several findings that might be of interest to BSP members. The full report can be accessed here.
In the area of equality and diversity, BSI found that immunology employs a high overall percentage of women, but they are disproportionately numerous at junior levels and are less likely to hold senior positions than women in other similar disciplines.
Additionally, there were several discrepancies between the concerns and experiences of women in immunology and those expressed by men. Most concerningly, they found that 13% of respondent stated that sexism, discrimination or bullying were significant barriers that they had faced during their careers, with women reporting this as a factor twice as frequently as men (16% vs. 7%). Those interested in the report's findings can to get in touch with the BSI to give their feedback and ideas for what can be done to resolve some of the issues highlighted.