Welcome to the BSP Autumn Symposium 2017!

The 2017 BSP Autumn Symposium will be held on Thursday 28th September at the Linnean Society, Burlington House, London.  Here, the Symposium organisers, Russell Stothard & Bonnie Webster, welcome all delegates and express their aspirations for the meeting:

We warmly welcome all Symposium delegates with the simple message that ‘all living species are involved in parasitism, either as parasites or as hosts’. This is a universal truth which sets the foundation for discussions at the 2017 British Society for Parasitology Autumn Symposium, entitled “The multidisciplinarity of parasitology: host-parasite evolution and control in an ever changing world”. Without doubt, parasitism is a successful evolutionary strategy but is also part of a broader picture of symbiosis and is a convenient classification of the dynamics of how organisms, big or small, interact. As a metaphor it is tremendously powerful, and regularly used in today’s language to describe significant socio-political events and processes, as societies and nations sometimes negatively exploit others. The agenda of parasitology is exciting, challenging and globally relevant.

Nonetheless, today’s Symposium on parasitism also underpins mutualism, those interactions seen to benefit all players. Our meeting is supported by The Linnean Society of London, The Royal Society for Tropical Medicine, London Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases and International Federation for Tropical Medicine (ITFM). Notably, each has provided much more than goodwill to make this meeting a success and we also thank our guest speakers and all attendees. With the award of IFTM Medal, our meeting celebrates the career of Dr David Rollinson, a former President of the BSP, who has been active in parasitological research for over 40 years and recently received the Linnean Society Gold Medal in recognition for his services to science. Thus our Symposium also seeks to encourage others to devote their careers and efforts to parasitological research.

For convenience, we have split our Symposium into three themes but these divisions blur, as well they should, for we encourage cross-talk as much as possible between disciplines. The ‘ever changing world’ hopes to place parasitological research within the new terminology of the Anthropocene and how mankind is altering global environments which may or may not favour parasitic diseases of medical, veterinary or wildlife importance. The ‘multidisciplinarity of parasitology’ encourages synergies between molecular, ecological and social science components that link parasites and hosts into a more holistic appraisal of parasitism.  The meeting closes upon ‘host-parasite evolution and control’ to recognise that parasites are not simple self-replicating automata and are very able to respond rapidly to interventions waged against them. It is very fitting to discuss this aspect of parasitism here in the Linnean Society where Darwin and Wallace once read their papers, nearly 160 years ago, on evolution by natural selection.

To close, we hope you are inspired by this meeting, form new friendships, enjoy the conviviality of the BSP - especially at tonight’s dinner - and look forward to the production of a special issue of Parasitology resultant from the Symposium’s discussions.

Russell Stothard & Bonnie Webster   

ICOPA: 14th International Congress of Parasitology, 2018

ICOPA 2018: The 14th International Congress of Parasitology.

Venue

Daegu, Korea

Dates

19th - 24th Aug 2018

More information

Title       14th International Congress of Parasitology

Period   19 (Sun) - 24 (Fri) August, 2018

Venue  EXCO, Daegu, Korea

Hosted by:           ICOPA 2018 Korean Organizing Committee

Co-Organizers:

  • The Korean Society for Parasitology and Tropical Medicine (KSPTM)
  • World Federation of Parasitologists (WFP)

Website:               http://icopa2018.org

Flyer:     download here

11th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology (ECMTB 2018)

The 11th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology (ECMTB 2018) will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 23 to 27 July, 2018.

Venue

Lisbon, Portugal

Dates

23-27th Jul 2018

More information

The 11th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology (ECMTB 2018) will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 23 to 27 July, 2018. The venue is the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon and its research centre CMAF-CIO will host the event. This will be a main event of the YEAR OF MATHEMATICAL BIOLOGY (YMB; http://euro-math-soc.eu/year-mathematical-biology-2018), set up by European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology (ESMTB) and the European Mathematical Society (EMS). For that reason, ECMTB 2018 will, for the first time, be a joint ESMTB-EMS conference and will be co-organized by SPM (Portuguese Mathematical Society).

Researchers and students interested in Mathematical and Theoretical Biology and its applications are invited to join this exciting conference! Registrations are now open on the Conference webpage http://www.ecmtb2018.org. Applications to Mini-symposia, Contributed Talks and Posters are also open and the corresponding abstract templates are available on the webpage.

Submit your abstract for the BSP Autumn Symposium 2017!

The 2017 BSP Autumn Symposium will be held on Thursday 28th September at the Linnean Society, Burlington House, London. One month is left to submit an abstract for this meeting: the deadline is Aug 14th 2017.

The symposium is entitled “The multidisciplinarity of parasitology: host-parasite evolution and control in an ever changing world”.  It will aim to explore and broadly discuss recent progress towards understanding host-parasite relationships, with a particular emphasis on vectors and intermediate hosts of human diseases.  The meeting will also be a convenient opportunity to develop a festschrift in Parasitology in honour of Prof David Rollinson (a former President of the BSP), marking over forty years of parasitological research.

There will be an open poster session, with each poster having a 1-min speed talk to encourage later discussions during the lunchtime and evening drinks receptions in the magnificent library of the Linnean Society.  After the evening reception, to take discussions further there will be a speakers’ dinner, open to all by ticket, at the Kings Head, Mayfair.

Linnean

Sinden symposium

A special one-day symposium celebrating the science and leadership of Professor Bob Sinden, Emeritus Professor of Parasite Cell Biology, Imperial College London.

 

Venue

Royal Institution

Dates

10th May 2018

More information

Bob Sinden’s career has spanned the pre-genomic to eradication eras of Plasmodium research, including seminal contributions that have defined our understanding of the architecture of the parasite cell, the biology behind sexual stage parasites passage through the mosquito and the foundations of current efforts in drug and vaccinology aimed at preventing malaria transmission. His legacy is still very much alive and active and, in his presence, we would like to celebrate these achievements as well as provoke discussion in the malaria community about how current science needs to evolve if we are to realise eradication in our lifetimes.

This one-day symposium on Thursday 10th May 2018 will feature talks from leading scientists working in areas related to Bob’s work and will be held at the Royal Institution (http://www.rigb.org/) – a scientific icon in London where Faraday first demonstrated the power of electricity. Precise details of the programme will be announced in early spring.

To register for the day, please visit our online registration URL (one ticket per registrant):

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sinden-symposium-tickets-42462378116 

Meeting Report published from the BSP’s 2017 Spring Meeting in Dundee

The BSP's student representatives, Tom Pennance and Alison Mbekeani, have published a meeting report on the Bugbitten Blog: 'Springtime in Scotland with the British Society for Parasitology'.  If you weren't able to attend the meeting (or indeed if you just want re-live the highlights!), check out their Meeting Report here.

Photo shows Dr Matthew Berriman recieving the 2017 CA Wright Medal - traditionally presented at the annual spring meeting - for his extensive contributions in the field of parasite genomics.

Wright medal Berriman

UK is a World Leader in Parasitology Research

Did you know that the UK leads Europe – and Europe leads the world – in parasitology research?  No European country publishes more parasitology research than the UK, and UK papers were cited more than those from any other country in the past 5 years.  These data arise from an analysis of parasitology outputs that was conducted as part of the BSP’s strategic planning for 2017, following a BSP Council AwayDay in Jan 2017.

Data were obtained from Elsevier SciVal for 2011-2016: Scopus was filtered according to the keyword “Parasitology” for research articles and reviews, and the returns were filtered by region and country.

Over this 5-year period, Europe produced 1763 parasitology outputs, compared to 1031 from S. America  and 622 from the USA.  Within Europe, the UK produced 357 of those outputs, making it the top-producing country for parasitology in Europe.

Perhaps more importantly, the UK produced some of the most highly cited outputs as well.  Citations per UK publication stood at 9.3, placing the UK second only to Switzerland (with an average of 12.4 citations on 175 publications). Likewise, if we look at only the ‘top papers’ – those in the top 10% of the citation table – the UK produced 23.5% of these top papers (again, second only to the Swiss!)

The BSP takes pride in being the leading academic society for a discipline in which the UK is clearly a global leader.  However, modern scientific research habitually transcends national borders, nowhere more so than in parasitology.   Our annual meetings and other activities, such as international training grants for students, aim to maintain our leading position by promoting the study of parasitology within the UK, but also by promoting worldwide collaboration with other global leaders.

Dr Matthew Berriman receives the 2017 CA Wright Medal

The British Society of Parasitology awarded Dr Matthew Berriman  the 2017 C.A. Wright Medal at the society's annual Spring Meeting in Dundee.  Dr Berriman is shown receiving his medal from BSP President Mark Taylor.

The C.A. Wright Medal is awarded on the basis of an individual’s outstanding contribution to the field of parasitology.  Dr Berriman, a senior group leader within the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, has played a leading role in the sequencing of genomes from protozoan and helminthic parasites as well as the application of these data in the study of parasite biology, genetics, evolution and adaptation to parasitism.  This research has proven transformational in the field of parasitology.  The award of the C.A. Wright Medal recognises the impact of Dr Berriman’s research in placing British parasitology at the forefront of international efforts to tackle the health burden attributed to parasitic disease.

Wright medal Berriman

Poster Prizes Awarded at the 2017 BSP Spring Meeting

Seven Poster Prizes were awarded at this year's BSP meeting in Dundee.  The judges were Justin Pachebat and Poppy Lamberton from the BSP Council.

PLOS NTDs best poster prizes: £40 per prize.

Poster 10. David Cutress, towards validation of an immune suppressor protein from liver fluke : Prostoglandin D Synthase as a drug target.

Poster 58. Dr Luca Nelli. Mapping insecticide resistance using spatially explicit statistical models: a simulation approach to investigate pyrethroid resistance in mosquito in Banfora district, Burkina Faso.

Poster 61. Miss Arporn Wangwiwatsin. Co-culture of schistosomes with mammalian cells to reveal host pathogen interactions.

Poster 63. Amy Marriott. Long term in vitro culture of adult Brugia malayi parasites.

Poster 93. Dr Renata Candido. A high field gradient magnetic probe for detecting parasite eggs in faecal matter processed by the Helmintex method.

Parasites & Vectors best student poster prize: £100.
Poster 42. Miss Titilola Kalejaiye. Evaluation of phosphodiesterase as potential drug targets in Trypanosoma cruzi.
Malaria Journal Early career researcher best poster prize: £100.
Poster 12. Dr Federica Giordani. Development of novel DNA minor groove binders for the treatment of animal African trypanosomiasis.

Dr Matthew Berriman awarded the 2017 CA Wright Medal

It is with pleasure that the British Society of Parasitology announces that Dr Matthew Berriman will be the recipient of the 2017 C.A. Wright Medal.

The C.A. Wright Medal is awarded on the basis of an individual’s outstanding contribution to the field of parasitology.  Dr Berriman, a senior group leader within the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, has played a leading role in the sequencing of genomes from protozoan and helminthic parasites as well as the application of these data in the study of parasite biology, genetics, evolution and adaptation to parasitism.  This research has proven transformational in the field of parasitology.  The award of the C.A. Wright Medal recognises the impact of Dr Berriman’s research in placing British parasitology at the forefront of international efforts to tackle the health burden attributed to parasitic disease.

The award of the C.A. Wright Medal will take place during the Society’s 2017 Spring Symposium to be held in Dundee, with Dr Berriman providing a plenary talk on his research at the opening of the symposium on April 2nd.