In December Alex Stewart visited Brighton to attend the annual BSI conference along with over 1000 other immunologists from around the world. The program covered a wide range of interesting topics from microbiota and the immune system, infection and allergy through to unconventional T-cell subsets. The bright sparks session, which included talks from post-grads and post-docs, was particularly interesting with a high quality of talks throughout. Our congratulations go to J.I. Hoare who had a particularly enthralling talk on the use of electric fields as a regulator of macrophage function and subsequently won the Bright Sparks award.