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 Conference 21-25 June: Parasites Online 2021

 

For 2021, in place of our usual Spring Meeting, we will hold an online meeting over five days during the Summer (21st-25th June). We have an exciting programme of scientific content, which will be delivered through a virtual conference interface designed to maximise opportunities for interaction, through live Q&A sessions, breakout discussion rooms and virtual trade stands for our exhibitors and sponsors.

This year, we will run the conference with two streams. You will still see our usual mix of high quality themed scientific sessions, keynote speakers and presentations by postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers.

Registration and abstract submission here

Registration charges for the full 5 day meeting:

  • Members: £90
  • Students: £30
  • Members in LMICs: FREE
  • Note that researchers in LMICs can join BSP FOR FREE
  • Non-members: £180

ANNOUNCING OUR INVITED SPEAKERS:

MAIN SCIENCE STREAM

Prof Maria-Gloria Basanez (Imperial College London)

Dr Emma Briggs (University of Glasgow)

Dr Krystyna Cwiklinski (University of Ireland Galway)

Dr Carmen Faso (University of Bern)

Prof Phillipe Guerin (Infectious Disease Data Observatory)

Prof Neil Hall (Earlham Institute)

Prof Matt Higgins (Oxford University)

Prof Achim Hoerauf (University Hospital Bonn)

Dr Rhys Jones (Aberystwyth University)

Dr Ben Makepeace (University of Liverpool)

Prof Eric Morgan (Queen’s University Belfast)

Dr Russ Morphew (Aberystwyth University)

Prof Sarah Reece (University of Edinburgh)

Prof Koert Ritmijer (Médecins Sans Frontières)

Dr Claire Rogers (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Prof Bernard Sures (Universität Duisburg-Essen)

 

PARALLEL STREAM: INFECTIOUS DISEASES DATA OBSERVATORY

Prof Mitali Chatterjee (Infectious Diseases Data Observatory)

Dr Prabin Dahal (Infectious Diseases Data Observatory)

Dr Martin Walker (Royal Veterinary College)

Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgraft (Drugs for Neglected Tropical Diseases Initiative)

Prof Sir Nicholas White (University of Oxford)

 

PARALLEL STREAM: TOWARDS GENDER AND RACIAL EQUALITY IN SCIENCE

Dr Regina Cordy (Wake Forest University)

Dr Elisabeth English (University of Pennsylvania)

Prof Elena Gomez-Diaz (Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez-Neyra)

Prof Debbie Smith (University of York)

Prof Santuza Teixeira (Federal University of Minas Gerais)

 

PARALLEL STREAM: SCHISTOSOMIASIS

Prof Coen Adema (University of New Mexico)

Prof Matt Berriman (Wellcome Sanger Institute)

Dr Conor Caffrey (University of California San Diego)

Prof Dan Colley (University of Georgia)

Dr Jim Collins (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre)

Prof Christoph Grevelding (Justus Liebig Universitat Giessen)

Prof Peter Hotez (Baylor College of Medicine)

Prof Andrew McDonald (University of Manchester)

Prof Joanne Webster (Imperial College London)

 

We will also hold interactive poster sessions, where delegates will have the opportunity for discussion with poster presenters (although this year we’re sorry to say that you will have to bring your own refreshments).

 

 

 

How to enter your abstract

 

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.

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.

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.

 

Watch talks from BSP Symposia online!

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.

British Society of Immunology Publishes Careers Report

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.