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University of Birmingham Fellow Dr David Bending has been awarded the Lister Research Prize 2022 in recognition of his excellence as an early-career biomedical scientist. His research has been recognised for its future potential of cutting-edge work. 

The Lister Prize Institute were keen to award a number of Fellowships in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were a high number of outstanding applications, and Dr Bending is one of the eight researchers who will be awarded £250,000 in flexible funding. 

Dr Bending's research looking at T follicular helper (Tfh) cells has found they are a key immune cell population controlling the generation of high affinity germinal centre B cells and antibody responses. Key questions regarding how antigen density and receptor stimulation regulate Tfh cell development and maintenance remain unanswered.

The Prize’s flexible funding will allow me to expand the reach and impact of our science into a rapidly progressing area. It will also allow me to recruit expertise in the field of germinal centre of biology, establishing my lab as a group with broad expertise in adaptive lymphocyte biology.

Dr David Bending, Birmingham Fellow for the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham

Dr Bending's lab employs state-of-the-art tools to reveal how T cell receptor signal strength and duration impact upon Tfh cell formation and the ensuing development of antibody-secreting lymphocytes. Better understanding these processes will help to design more effective vaccines and immunotherapies.