Take part in two surveys

Survey on collecting and preserving study organisms and archiving

The Natural Science Collections COVID-19 Task Force (composed of researchers associated with natural history museum collections and/or biodiversity science) set as one of its aims to develop guidelines for linking host and microorganism/parasite samples and data. For this, we are requesting your participation in a brief questionnaire on common practices used by microbiologists for collecting and preserving study organisms (viral and otherwise) and archiving (collecting a voucher specimen) of the host organism. The survey (Qualtrics) and further information can be found here.

Survey on Horizon-scanning of research priorities on pathogen spill-over processes and their ecological correlates

As a group of ecologists, conservation biologists, taxonomists, virologists, epidemiologists, health care providers, veterinarians and social scientists, we recently established a COVID Task Force CETAF-DiSSCo joint action (CETAF = Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities, DiSSCo = Distributed System of Scientific Collections), with the aim to help clarify the links between biodiversity, human pressure and the origin and causes of coronaviruses disease, as well as to identify the actions that should be put in place to complement the efforts made in other disciplines. This effort is equally important to anticipate and prevent the occurrence and propagation of zoonotic infectious diseases worldwide.
One of the first tangible actions we want to pursue is to identify priority questions that biodiversity scientists should explore to reach a better understanding of pathogen origins, spill-over processes and their ecological correlates. The survey (Google doc) and full details can be accessed here.

BSP Spring meeting 2021

The BSP Council can confirm that our Spring meeting in 2021 will be held online. We believe this is the most sensible option given the ongoing travel restrictions and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working to ensure that the online format will be interactive and we hope that many of you will be able to join us to share research and network with colleagues.  

The organiser is Dr Kevin Tyler.

 

More information on this meeting will follow shortly.

IDDO’s schistosomiasis and STHs Research Agenda open for comments

A global collaboration dedicated to schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases is looking for input into its new Research Agenda from the wider research community. The Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO) with TDR (the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases) aims to expand data re-use and collaboration and accelerate better treatment and control of these diseases.

The Research Agenda will be an active document, changing as priorities are addressed and new data collected, allowing for additional research questions for analysis to be considered over time. Compiled by the schistosomiasis and STHs Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) with global experts from the research community, the Agenda is a list of priority research questions, on treatment or other critical research areas, which could be tackled using individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis or specific analyses based on pooled data (e.g. review of methodology). Its ongoing development will continue to be guided by the SAC and the wider schistosomiasis and STHs research community.

You can read the full draft Research Agenda here. Please email your feedback to schistosth@iddo.org by July 17, 2020.

Royal Microscopical Society Flow Cytometry Course 2020

University of York, 14-18 September 2020

Scientific Organisers: Peter O’Toole, Derek Davies and Steve Couzens

This Flow Cytometry Course is aimed at both life science and clinical science fields, with the common fundamentals covered on Day 1 and 2. The course then splits into life science and clinical orientated modules, from practical demonstrations to lectures highlighting not just the applications, but best practise as well.

The course is constructed as a set of three modules. You can elect to attend the course from between two to five days, depending on the modules selected.

The modules consist of lectures interspersed with sessions in the laboratory. It is anticipated that instruments from three manufacturers will be available for practical work.

For further information, please visit this link.

 

 

International Congress on Parasites of Wildlife (ICPOW)

The Parasitological Society of Southern Africa (PARSA) (https://www.parsa.ac.za/) has initiated a congress series called “International Congress on Parasites of Wildlife (ICPOW)” and the next meeting will be held in Kruger National Park, South Africa on 6-9 September 2020 (http://savetcon.savetcon.co.za/icpow2020/).

Further details can be downloaded here.

 

Gordon Research Conference: Biology of Host-Parasite Interactions 2020

The Molecular, Cellular and Biochemical Basis of Parasitism by Eukaryotic Pathogens, June 14-19, 2020

At the beautiful Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

Apply here: https://www.grc.org/biology-of-host-parasite-interactions-conference/2020

(abstracts for posters or selected talks submission too)

 

Programme:

Sexual Differentiation and Quorum Sensing

Laura Knoll (University of Wisconsin), Isabel Roditi (University of Bern), Andy Waters (University of Glasgow)

Immunology and Immuno-Suppression

P’ng Loke (NYU), Eva Frickel (The Crick Institute, UK), Meera Nair (UC Riverside)

Genome Instability and Genetic Diversity

Gerald Spaeth (Pasteur Institute), Jane Carlton (NYU), Richard Davis (University of Colorado), Jenny Guler (University of Virginia)

Parasite Motility and Invasion

Freddy Frischknecht (University of Heidelberg, Germany), Eva Gluenz (Oxford University, UK), Maryse LeBrun (University of Montpellier, France)

Parasite Dormancy and Persistence

Annemarie Voorberg van der Wel (Rijwsijk, Netherlands), Jon Boyle (University of Pittsburgh), Jean- Claude Dujardin (Antwerp, Belgium), Alex Paredez (University of Washington)

Molecular Biology and Gene Expression

Iris Bruchhaus (Bernhard Nocht Institute, Germany), Lyn-Marie Birkholtz (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Mohammed Ali-Hakimi (Grenoble, France)

Host Cell Responses and Manipulation by Parasites

Stefan Svard (Uppsala University, Sweden), Gordon Langsley (Paris, France), Melissa Lodoen (University of California at Irvine), Alex Loukas (James Cooke University, Australia)

New Intervention Strategies

Boris Striepen (University of Pennsylvania, USA), Jenni Zambriski (Virginia Tech University, USA), Jorg Moerhle (Medicines for Malaria Venture), Emily Derbyshire (Duke University, USA)

Metabolism and Drug Targets

Fred Bringaud (Bordeaux, France), Maria Mota (Lisbon, Portugal), Julio Martin (GSK Tres Cantos), Karl Hoffman (Aberystwyth University)

 

Parasites: Battle for Survival

Free Exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland

Thursday 6 December 2019 to Sunday 19 April 2020

National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh

 

A new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland will explore Scotland’s role in the fight to eliminate tropical diseases by tackling the parasites that cause them. Parasites: Battle for Survival will examine five deadly diseases, which together affect 1 in 18 people around the world and thrive in areas lacking access to clean water, healthcare and adequate sanitation.

Malaria, guinea-worm disease, sleeping sickness, schistosomiasis and leishmaniasis are among the diseases that the World Health Organization is aiming to eliminate, some as soon as 2020. All but Malaria are classified as neglected, meaning that historically they have seen a lack of interest and funding from healthcare groups and governments despite their huge impact.

Researchers at the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow are at the forefront of these efforts. They are collaborating with scientists and communities around the globe to understand, prevent and treat these debilitating diseases. If successful in eliminating one of them, it will be the first time a human disease has been eliminated since Smallpox was wiped out in 1979.

Presented in partnership with these three universities, this interactive, family friendly exhibition will explore the Scottish involvement in identifying and treating tropical disease and highlight the research currently taking place in Scotland. With a view to engaging young visitors in STEM subjects, the exhibition’s creators have collaborated with secondary school pupils to trial designs, games and text.

For further information, visit this link. Twitter: #ParasitesExhibition

The 2019 Autumn Symposium in Belfast

 

On 23rd September, the BSP hosted our annual Autumn Symposium.  This year’s theme was “post-genomic progress in helminth parasitology”. We welcomed 83 delegates from 10 countries to our lovely venue in Riddel Hall, on the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) campus, in leafy South Belfast.

In our first session, we heard invited presentations from Angela Mousley (QUB) on how her lab is using multiple ‘omics approaches to understand neuropeptide biology in nematode parasites, followed by talks from John Gilleard (University of Calgary) and Jane Hodgkinson (University of Liverpool) on the genomic basis of drug resistance in, respectively, Haemonchus and Fasciola.  After a welcome caffeination opportunity, we focused on functional genomics, with Paul Brindley (George Washington University), and Elissa Hallem (UCLA) highlighting how we can better understand  parasite biology using genome editing, and Aaron Maule (QUB) putting the spotlight on RNAi and stem cells in Fasciola.  After a highly-praised lunch from Riddel Hall’s excellent catering department, we broadened our scope to look at small RNAs in nematodes (Collette Britton, University of Glasgow), evolution of symbiotic Wolbachia bacteria (Mark Blaxter, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute; kindly presenting via Skype due to a flight cancellation), and the role of GPCR signalling in reproductive development of schistosomes (Christoph Grevelding, Justus Liebig University).

During the subsequent poster session, we enjoyed drinks and nibbles alongside nineteen high-quality posters, with the calibre of postgraduate and postdoctoral research on show recognised by poster prizes (see list below), supported by Elsevier.

A BugBitten blog of the meeting by Tom Pennance is also available here.

The BSP would like to thank delegates and invited speakers for their contributions, and to pay special thanks to our headline sponsor, Cambridge University Press, and all of our other supporters: Analab, Elsevier, Queen’s University Belfast Core Technology Units, Irish Society for Parasitology, Microscope Services and Sales Ltd, Premier Scientific, VWR, and Queen’s University Belfast School of Biological Sciences Athena SWAN Team.

 

Congratulations to our poster prize winners as follows:

Students

1st Duncan Wells (poster 19; Queen’s University Belfast) (£150 prize)

2nd Jennifer Noonan (poster 18; McGill University, Canada) (£100 prize)

3rd Nicolas Feldman (poster 10; University of Buenos Aires, Argentina) (£50 prize)

Postdocs

1st Paul Airs (poster 12; Queen’s University Belfast) (£150 prize)

2nd Paul McCusker (poster 5; Medical College of Wisconsin, USA) (£100 prize)

3rd Oliver Weth (poster 14; Justus Liebig University, Germany) (£50 prize)

 

 

 

Congratulations to prize winners at the 2019 BSP Spring meeting

The 2019 BSP Spring Meeting was held on 15-17 April in Manchester. The abstract book is now available on our website. Thanks to all the local organisers for a warm welcome and to our sponsors.

Special talks were given by BSP Honorary member Professor Janet Hemingway; CA Wright Memorial Medal winner Professor Russell Stothard; and the recipient of our first BSP President's Medal, Dr Mattie Pawlowic (pictured here with BSP President Maria-Gloria Basanez).

Mattie and Maria-Gloria

The British Society of Parasitology congratulates all winners of the 2019 Spring Meeting poster and short talk prize competition. The winners were:

Best short talks. 1st: Clarize de Korne. 2nd: Emma Houlder. 3rd: Marie Astrid Hoogerwerf. Best posters. 1st: Hannah Smith. 2nd: Dimitri Bulte. 3rd: Bozo Lugonja. Best Ecology short talk: Natalia Fraija-Fernandez. Best Ecology poster: Meg Huggins. Best poster pitch: Luca Cunningham. Best sci comm flash talks. 1st: Iris Mair. 2nd: Jo Pennock.

Prizes were sponsored by Cambridge University Press (1st prize for short talk and poster); Parasites & Vectors (2nd and 3rd prize for short talk and poster and prize for best poster pitch); British Ecological Society Parasites and Pathogens Group (best Ecology short talk and poster); and Qiagen (Best Sci Comm Flash Talk).

 

Meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases invites you to join us for a meeting coordinated with the British Society for Parasitology. The theme of the meeting is:

Integrating Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases: From Intervention to Surveillance.

Date: Tuesday 11th June 2019 from 5.30-7.30 pm. Venue: Palace of Westminster, London.

Full details of the event can be found here.