The ASI-Visiting Speaker Program (VSP)

The ASI visiting speaker program gives members the advantage of inviting speakers to visit their location by touring around Australia and New Zealand. For more details please see the ASI-VSP guidelines here.

Nominations for 2017

The second nomination round for 2017 is now open until Friday April 21st, 5pm.

Simply email a description of the proposed speaker's contribution to the field (less than 500 words) and a short list of recent publications to:  Up to 4 speakers will be selected for a tour from the nominated individuals.  The speaker must visit at least 3 branches, or 2 branches if SA, WA, NT or NZ is visited, and must take up the offer within 1 year of approval. You can support your application by including names of laboratories from other branches who would be keen to host your speaker, however this is not essential. Please make sure that you have contacted the nominee and that they are willing to participate.
I strongly encourage you to keep gender in mind when nominating speakers. Supporting women through the ASI VSP enhances the ability of both female and male immunologists to achieve their potential. Here are some great international databases full of magnificent female immunologists to invite: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Immunologie, European Federation of Immunological Societies and the American Association of Immunologists.


ASI-VSP Co-ordinator

Name:  Joanna Kirman
Position:  Senior Lecturer at the Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Address/affiliation:  University of Otago, NZ
Email address:

Upcoming speakers for 2017

Prof Adrian Liston

IKatholieke Universiteit Leuven and Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Leuven, Belgium 

Visit co-ordinated by Mark Chong


Visit in August/September 2017, itinerary to be confirmed.


Adrian Liston is Professor of Translational Immunology at the University of Leuven and the VIB, Belgium. The laboratory works on both aspects of discovery immunology (identifying intervention-points in regulatory T cell biology; developing diabetes pre-clinical models) and applied immunology (human immunology; immunogenetics; and mechanisms of immunodeficiency and inflammatory disease). He has been awarded the Francqui Chair, Eppendorf prize and two ERC grants, among other honours. His PhD research was on T cell tolerance and diabetes with Professor Chris Goodnow at the Australian National University, followed by post-doctoral research on regulatory T cell biology with Professor Sasha Rudensky at the University of Washington. In 2009 Adrian was invited to set up an independent research laboratory at the VIB and the University of Leuven. Adrian Liston has published more than 100 scientific papers, with over 4000 citations.


Prof Lars Nitschke

University of Erlangen, Erlangen, nitschke-kleinGermany 

Visit co-ordinated by David Tarlinton


Visits between September and December 2017, itinerary to be confirmed.


Prof Nitschke is a scientist working in the field of B cell immunology with a major research focus on the regulation of B cell immunity, B cell signalling and autoimmunity. His main research focus is on inhibitory receptors (Siglecs) on immune cells as regulators of lymphocyte activation. With newly generated genetic mouse models he studies the regulation of immune responses and the dysregulation of the immune system in autoimmune diseases.


Prof Cezmi Akdis

akdisSwiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research,  Universität Zürich,  Zurich, Switzerland

Visit co-ordinated by Kara Filbey


Visit in October 2017, itinerary to be confirmed.


Prof. Dr. Cezmi Akdis, MD is the Director of the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), Davos and Professor in Zurich University Medical Faculty. He is one of the Directors of the Christine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE) in Davos.

Prof. Akdis’s research is focused on immune tolerance mechanisms in humans, developing novel vaccines and treatment modalities, and regulation and role of tissue cells and epithelial barrier in asthma and allergies. He has been continuously performing vaccine, human immunology, lung and skin research to find solutions for allergies and asthma. Prof. Akdis has published more than 450 articles. H-index: 74, total number of citations more than 17’000. He was selected to Web of Science, Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher List for 2016, which will be announced in December 2016.