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Immunology North East Research Symposium

Business and Law Building (CCE1) Northumbria University


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About this event 

Immunology North East, the Regional Group of the British Society for Immunology, would like to welcome you to our annual Research Symposium, which showcases the varied immunological research themes within the North East. This year's event takes place at Northumbria University.About this event

This full-day research event gives special focus to PhD and early career scientists who have the opportunity to present their work either as a talk or poster. We will also host two keynote speakers from outside the North East, who are either establishing or are established within their respective fields.

The day offers a great opportunity to form networks, collaborations or just to find out what research work is going on within the North East.There will be plenty of opportunity for attendees and presenters to meet during tea/coffee, lunch and end of day refreshments.The event is sponsored and presenters have the opportunity to win prizes for their talks and posters.

The event is open to academics, undergraduate, masters and PhD students and anyone who may have a general or passing interest in immunology from the North East universities and hospitals, as well as research communities outside the North East.

Abstract submission

Abstract submission now closed. Abstract Submission Form for short talks or poster presentations on any immunology-related topic. Submission deadline 31st May 2024. 

Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to host two keynote speakers. Please click below to view speaker profiles and abstracts.

Professor John Todd, Oxford University 

Professor John Todd, Professor of Precision Medicine, Director of the JDRF/Wellcome Trust Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory (DIL), Oxford University


'From genes to clinic in type 1 diabetes'Image of John Todd

Genetic analysis of type 1 diabetes has revealed the major causative pathways of disease, notably HLA class II and the T cell repertoire, the IL-2 pathway, and the microbiome.  Each of these offers opportunities to treat and prevent the disease.  I will summarise our ongoing efforts in these three areas.

Dr Damian Perez Mazliah, Hull York Medical School

Dr Damian Perez Mazliah, tropical disease expert at Hull York Medical School.

'Transcriptomics of the immune response in Chagas heart disease'

Damian Perez Mazliah

Although the triggers for autoimmune disorders are diverse and, in many cases, unknown, some pathogens have the outstanding capacity to alter our immune system leading to malfunctioning and autoimmunity. Our laboratory is currently exploring the mechanisms that regulate infection-driven autoimmunity, particularly focusing on infection-driven heart disease. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally. The immune system plays a key role in cardiac development, composition, and function. Under some circumstances, particularly in response to infection, immune cells can infiltrate the heart in large numbers to remove dying tissue, scavenge pathogens and promote healing. If uncontrolled, these immune cells can cause collateral tissue damage, leading to heart dysfunction and failure. Moreover, the heart can be directly affected by autoreactive B cells, resulting in damage to its structures. 

Our goal is to better understand how the B cells that fight infections and those that attack the heart develop, and to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which autoreactive B cells contribute to heart tissue damage. For this, we are using Trypanosoma cruzi as an infection model. T. cruzi is the protozoan parasite that causes Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis), a major cause of infectious heart disease worldwide and the highest-impact parasitic disease in the Western Hemisphere. In response to T. cruzi infection/Chagas disease, and driven by poorly understood triggers, the immune system produces both antibodies against the parasite and against the body’s heart. Using a combination of molecular and cellular technologies (scRNA-seq, spatial transcriptomics, RNAScope, flow cytometry) we have now identified that chronic T. cruzi infection leads to a large and very unusual accumulation of B cells in the heart. During the talk, I will discuss our most recent datasets studying the immune response during experimental Chagas heart disease. I will also discuss our plans for studying the nature of these heart-resident B cells, how do they interact with other types of heart-resident cells (e.g. fibroblasts, cardiomyocytes) and ultimately, whether and how do they contribute to development of heart fibrosis and/or dilated cardiomyopathy.

Event Schedule

Click below to view the sessions or download the schedule (pdf) here.

Event Schedule


09:00-09:50 Arrival, refreshments, poster set up

Keynote speaker

10:00-10:50 Dr Damian Perez Mazliah, York University - 'Transcriptomics of the immune response in Chagas heart disease'


10:50-11:20 Break and poster session

Short talks

11.20-11:40 Samuel Higginbotham – ‘Neutrophils in steatosis’

11.40-12:00 Ioana Nicorescu – ‘TolDC affect on T cell gene expression’

12.00-12:20 Oana Sebedean – ‘Regulation of Immune Cell Development by IRF8’

12:20-12:40 BIO-RAD laboratories - ‘Ten ways to improve your flow data to get the right result’


12:40-13:00 AGM


13:00-14:15 Lunch and poster session

Keynote speaker

14:15-15:05  Prof John Todd, Oxford University - 'From genes to clinic in type I diabetes'

Short talks 

15:05-15:25 Michael Mulholland - ‘Interferon-gamma contributes to disease progression in the Ndufs4(-/-) model of Leigh syndrome’

15:25-15:45 Rui Chen - ‘NUDCD3 deficiency disrupts VDJ recombination to cause SCID and OMENN syndrome’

15:45-16:05 Anneliza Andreadi - ‘The role of Complement Factor I Rare Genetic Variants in Age Related Macular Degeneration in Finland’


16:05-16:30 Break and poster session

Short talks

16:30-16:50 Beth Gibson – ‘In from the cold – HDM-FH protects human kidneys in a  simulated organ transplant model’

16:50-17:10 Steven James Bolton – ‘Extracorporeal Photopheresis in the treatment of Chronic Lung Allograft Dysfunction’

17.10-17:30 Devyani Bhide – ‘Development of an in-vitro adenoidal co-culture model for the study of upper airway immunity in children adenoidal culture and upper airway infection’

Wrap up

17.30 -19.00 Prizes, closing comments and refreshments.


Event Sponsors

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Please complete this Conference Registration Form to book your free place at the INE Research Symposium.

For any queries, please email Georgia Stylianou at

Venue details


Business and Law Building (CCE1), Northumbria University, Falconar Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1XA

Maps & access

City Campus Map (building 5) | AccessAble Guide | Google map location | What3Words location


Newcastle City Council Interactive Car Park map | Car Parks and On-Street Parking page


The Business and Law Building (CCE1) is a 3 minute walk from Manors metro station. Metro map.


Event Details

Business and Law Building (CCE1) Northumbria University
City Campus East
12 Falconar St, Shieldfield
Newcastle upon Tyne


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