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Oliver Bannard


Group Leader, Associate Professor

  • Wellcome Senior Research Fellow

Development of humoral immunity in germinal centres

My research has focussed upon investigating fundamental aspects of how adaptive immune responses are mounted. I completed my PhD in 2009 under the supervision of Professor Douglas Fearon in Cambridge. My thesis considered the developmental stages involved in the generation of memory CD8+ T cells. Following this, I moved to the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to continue my training as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Jason Cyster. It is here that I turned my attention to B cells and began to investigate germinal centre biology. We were interested in how the physical separation of germinal centres into distinct light zones and dark zones facilitates effective responses.

I returned to the UK and established the Bannard Group in the MRC WIMM in Oxford at the beginning of 2015. Our group is interested in determining the events and processes that lead to the generation of effective humoral immune responses. Our major focus is the germinal centre reaction. We aim to understand the basic biology underpinning how antibodies develop and evolve in these remarkable structures (germinal centres) but we hope our findings will contribute to informing the development of new vaccine strategies and immunotherapies.