Michelle Linterman is Group Leader at the Babraham Institute. Her laboratory’s principle research focus is on how different cell types collaborate in the germinal centre to generate a robust antibody response following vaccination. Vaccination is one of the most successful, cost-effective interventions for combating infectious disease. Despite this enormous success, there are still multiple circumstances that require a vaccination solution, including vaccines that protect against HIV and malaria, and a way to improve vaccine efficacy in the later years of life. An understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of a productive germinal centre response may be the key to rational vaccine design in cases where breakthroughs in vaccine development are needed.