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Oxford Immunology Group Logo

The Oxford Immunology Group (OIG) is a regional branch of the British Society for Immunology (BSI). The aim is to connect students, postdocs, early-career researchers, and faculty with an interest in immunology. Within this group, we host the Science in Progress (SIP) talks once every two months and allow for the exchange of reagents, ideas and techniques across institutes and departments in Oxford.

The Science in Progress (SIP) talks are informal research presentations by graduate students, postdocs, or early career researchers to the Oxford immunology community. The SIP talks will take place once every two months and all are welcome to attend.

The talk title is: Improving the efficacy of PD-1 blockade through antibody engineering.”

given by Martin Fellermeyer and Mateusz Kotowski, DPhil students in the Davis Group. 

Please come and join in person on Friday the 11th August 2023 at the CAMS-COI meeting room (at the back of the Wellcome Trust Centre) at 10AM or email for a Teams link.

Roel De Maeyer

Roel De Maeyer (he/him) - Chair 

Roel is an Oxford-BMS fellow, working with Dr James Fullerton, focused on establishing novel human immune challenge models to provide robust and reproducible platforms with which to interrogate early phase experimental medicines. He is particularly keen on using these models to understand the dysregulated inflammation seen in older people.

He obtained his PhD in 2018 from University College London (UCL), where he worked on acute inflammatory responses in older people with Professor Derek Gilroy. Following on from his PhD, Roel built upon his knowledge of age-related immune dysfunction by joining the lab of Professor Arne Akbar at UCL. As such, Roel has worked on many cells of the immune system (as exemplified by his extensive BSI cell badge collection!).

Roel has been a member of the British Society for Immunology since 2013 and is currently serving on the committee of the London Immunology Group. He is part of the CARINA (Catalyst Reducing ImmuNe Ageing) network. You can follow him on Twitter as @roeldemaeyer

Elena Mitsi

Elena Mitsi (she/her)- Secretary 

Elena is a Senior Research Associate in the Oxford Vaccine Group. She has been leading on the immunology that is performed within the Experimental Human Pneumococcal Challenge model and recently on the SARS-CoV-2 studies. Her research focuses on mucosal (nasal and lung) immune responses to respiratory pathogens and the identification of correlates of susceptibility to respiratory infections in high-risk groups, such the elderly and children.

She obtained her PhD in 2020 from Liverpool School of Medicine, where she investigated the impact of nasal pneumococcal colonisation on the lung immune landscape. During her postdoctoral training, Elena built on virology expertise. She recently secured fundings to evaluate the antimicrobial properties of novel inhaled therapeutics, using primary airway cells and organoids.

Elena has been a member of both the British and American Society of Immunology since 2018. You can find her on Twitter as @ElenaMitsi.

Charlotte Bell

Charlotte Bell - Business Partnerships/Events  

Charlotte works as Senior Business Partnerships Manager in the Business Partnerships Office, Medical Sciences Division. She promotes strong links between the division and businesses in order to secure significant funding and resources to drive collaborative research and provides dedicated partnership management for key strategic university-business relationships, including Bristol Myers Squibb with whom she has been working with for 5 years. Many of the partnerships that Charlotte and her team manage are based around immunology research. 

Charlotte manages, trains and supports the development of other Business Partnerships Office team members and leads on progressing a portfolio of new partnering opportunities alongside the development and implementation of strategies to increase business collaborations. 

Prior to joining the team at Oxford she worked at the University of Bristol in the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation team focusing on impact development and industry engagement in Biomedical Sciences. She spent 3 years at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) where she managed collaborative funding mechanisms including the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst and Research Industry Clubs in Bioprocessing, Biorefining, Animal Health and Horticulture. Charlotte obtained her Engineering Doctorate in Biopharmaceutical Process Development from Newcastle University, working in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline.

Caitlin O’Brien-Ball

Caitlin O’Brien-Ball (she/her) - General Member 

Caitlin is currently working in the lab of Dr. Ricardo Fernandes as an Oxford-BMS Postdoctoral Fellow, where her work is focussed on understanding inhibitory signalling in T cells and using this knowledge to improve immunotherapies.  

Prior to this, she completed her DPhil in Medical Sciences at the WIMM, investigating early signalling in T and B cells with fluorescence and super-resolution microscopy.

Throughout her time in Oxford she has had an active role in many academic and social committees including Chair of the Oxford Immunology Group

Ester Gea-Mallorquí

Ester Gea-Mallorquí (she/her) - General Member 

Ester is a Postdoctoral Fellow working in the lab of Prof. Sarah Rowland-Jones at the Centre for Immuno-Oncology (CIO). Her work explores antigen presentation and recognition from the perspective of the interaction between viruses and the immune system.  

Prior to this, Ester completed her PhD in the Institut Curie in Paris (U932 Immunity and Cancer) in the lab of Dr. Philippe Benaroch. During her PhD, she described the HIV-2 life cycle in primary human macrophages and the interaction between HIV-1 and precursor dendritic cells (pre-DCs). Ester did her MSc in the AIDS Research Unit in Barcelona where she developed a paediatric HIV-TB BCG-based vaccine to be used in a prime-boost regime in collaboration with the Jenner Institute. 

Ester coordinates the Preprint Club in Oxford and is involved in academic teaching as well as science outreach and communication. You can follow her on Twitter as @estergeama.

Gerda Mickute

Gerda Mickute (she/her)  - General Member 

Gerda is a BM BCh + DPhil student currently in the final year of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funded DPhil with Prof. Paresh Vyas at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. Her work has focussed on developing novel T cell therapies for acute myeloid leukaemia using allogeneic T cell receptors.

She started her Medicine degree at Oxford in 2017 and after successful completion of the Pre-Clinical part obtained a BA in Medical Sciences (2020). After the intercalated DPhil in Cancer Science, she intends to resume Clinical Medicine studies at Somerville College from 2023.

You can find Gerda on Twitter @GerdaMickute

Jordan Rolt

Jordan Rolt (He/Him) - General Member 

Jordan is currently working as a research assistant in the Experimental Medicine Division at the John Radcliffe Hospital. His research involves understanding the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in immunosuppressed patients through clinical trials, such as the RAPID-PROTECTION and STRAVINSKY studies.

Before this, he completed the MSc Integrated Immunology at the University of Oxford where, as part of a research project, he worked at the Kennedy Institute to better understand the dependence of macrophages on T cell signalling in Tumour Microenvironment. 

Zhi Yi Wong

Zhi Yi Wong (he/him) - General Member 

Zhi is a PhD student working in the lab of Prof. Christopher Buckley and Prof. Mark Coles at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology. His work focuses on understanding how fibroblasts compartmentalise leucocytes in the peripheral tissues. 

Before his PhD, Zhi trained as a pharmacist, and then completed his MRes in Oncology at the Department of Oncology, University of Oxford, investigating the mechanism(s) of temozolomide resistance in glioblastoma multiforme.

Together with Ester and other colleagues, Zhi helped coordinate the Preprint Club in Oxford. You can follow him on Twitter as @ZhiYiWong1.

Please get in touch with us if you would be interested in joining the OIG committee!

We are always looking for new members to join - please spread the word!

Become a Member today

Stay up to date by checking upcoming Science in Progress talks, following us on Twitter, and subscribing to our mailing list!

The OIG members share their reagents and equipment, ideas, protocols, and support, subscribe to participate!

To subscribe to our mailing list, please send an email to with the following title:

subscribe oig-general (or oig-exchange) Firstname Lastname

For further instruction please check this link:

For more information please contact  Caitlin O'Brien-Ball.