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New Midlands Immunology network to share COVID-19 expertise and more

More than 260 Immunology academic, student and industry collaborators from across the Midlands came together for the opening launch of the Midlands Innovation Immunology Network (MIIN) to share COVID-19 research intelligence.

The event, the first in a research showcase series covering all areas of Immunology, featured the UK’s cutting-edge COVID-19 immunological science, shared intelligence from the extensive excellence COVID-19 research that has taken place across the Midlands in the last year and opened new collaboration opportunities. The audience included leading Immunologists, as well as the next generation of immunology experts that are currently studying across region.

Midlands Innovation Health partners (the Midlands seven most research intensive health and medical schools – the Universities of Aston, Birmingham, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick) have established this new network to encourage research collaboration, innovation and build training opportunities. MIIN will promote the development of high-quality collaborative proposals and ensure the region is offering state-of-the-art research facilities.

Dr Lucy Fairclough, Associate Professor of Immunology and Chair of MIIN, said: “The new Midlands Innovation Immunology Network is an exciting new grouping, bringing together Immunology colleagues from across the whole of the Midlands. The launch event was a great showcase of the exciting COVID-19 research that is taking place here in the Midlands.  I would like to also thank our national speakers and sponsors for making the event such a great afternoon.”

Details of the new network's COVID-19 Resesearch Symposium can be found here.

The new network is the latest expert group to form through the extensive collaborative research links of the Midlands Innovation university partnership and its health research arm (MI Health).

MI Health partners have undertaken critical COVID-19 research to support national and international efforts since the outbreak of the pandemic, delivering nearly £100m worth of research from the Midlands region, and working with partners across the NHS system, industry and other organisations to undertake further COVID efforts. Read more here

Dr Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation, said: “Our research partnership is steeped in collaboration, as well as the projects our partners directly collaborate on, Midlands Innovation also acts as a collaborative platform for many networks and groups, so I am delighted to the launch of a new immunology network is such a success.

“The Midlands has played a critical role in the response to COVID-19 and I am delighted that immunology experts from across our region have been sharing their learning and discussing best practice going forwards.”