Catz Fellow Hosts International Immunology Conference
Adrian Smith, our Fellow in Biological Sciences (Zoology), recently ran a large conference in College on avian immunology, with 160 delegates attending from over 30 different countries. The Avian Immunology Research Group Conference was the fifteenth of its kind, and the first to be hosted in Oxford since its founding in 1988. Its purpose is to bring together academic researchers, students and professionals working in the field of avian immunology all over the world, and to provide a forum for exchanging ideas and discussing the latest research in the field.
The hosting of this conference is directly related to Adrian’s research, which focuses on understanding the basis of immunity to infection, including the study of immune mechanisms in birds and mammals. This year’s Avian Immunology Conference was particularly focused on the current global pressures on the practical aspects of the field, with an increased need for sustainable, high-welfare solutions to poultry production: a healthy avian immune system is the basis of a sustainable poultry industry, capable of feeding an ever-growing world population.
Thanks to Global Challenges Research Funding, the conference was able to support the attendance of 22 delegates from low- and middle-income countries, who would otherwise have been unable to join. This allowed the conference’s debates to be increasingly well-rounded, considering the diverse poultry production systems that exist all over the world.
The conference was held across three days in the Bernard Sunley Building at St Catz, with delegates staying and dining in the college throughout. Adrian spoke highly of the integrated setup of conferences at Catz, and how it created a real community environment for the Avian Immunology Conference. Many delegates commented on the fantastic environment that was provided, including the helpful, well-organised staff and the efficiency and style of the dinners.