The MRC Human Immunology Unit has a new group head. Dr Oliver Bannard is a Sir Henry Dale Fellow and comes to the WIMM from the University of California San Francisco where he worked in the lab of Prof Jason Cyster.
Antibody-mediated immune responses provide critical protection against a wide range of pathogens and their induction is the main way by which vaccines elicit immunity. However, attempts to generate effective immunisations to some important infections have so far failed and it remains unclear how autoreactive antibodies are generated. Gaining a better understanding of how responses are controlled is a major priority. Oliver’s research in the HIU will be focussed on dissecting the mechanisms by which the Germinal Centre cellular program promotes efficient B cells selection during antibody affinity maturation. Oliver’s research skills and interests will add great value to the WIMM by complementing many on-going research programs on B cell activation and antibody generation in infectious diseases, cancer and autoimmunity.