'Unwrapping the Bouquet: Pattern recognition in the Innate Immune System'

Series Name Professorial Inaugural Lecture
Speaker Professor Russell Wallis, Department of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation and Biochemistry
Type Lectures & Talks
Starts at Jan 27, 2015 05:30 PM
Ends at Jan 27, 2015 06:30 PM
Venue Ken Edwards Building Lecture Theatre 1
Open To Public
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Anyone wishing to attend a lecture, whether student, staff or public, should contact inaugural@le.ac.uk.

Professor Russell Wallis from the Department of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation and Biochemistry will give his professorial inaugural lecture entitled 'Unwrapping the Bouquet: Pattern recognition in the Innate Immune System' on 27 January 2015 in Ken Edwards Building Lecture Theatre 1.

All inaugural lectures are open to the public and are free. Anyone wishing to attend a lecture, whether student, staff or public, should contact inaugural@le.ac.uk.

Summary

The mammalian immune system protects the host against disease by detecting and eliminating pathogens. It uses two main weapons to fulfil this function: adaptive immunity, including the antibody response that develops over time to target a pathogen selectively; and innate immunity, which is ever present and constantly scans the body for potentially harmful material. The complement system provides a vital bridge between innate and adaptive immunity by recognising and destroying pathogens in the absence of antibodies and helping the body to develop an effective adaptive immune response. Because of its pivotal role, dysfunction of the complement system is associated with a range of human diseases, including immunodeficiencies leading to increased susceptibility to a wide range of bacterial infections, autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus and chronic, potentially life-threatening conditions such as atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome, where complement activation becomes uncontrolled.

Although the complement pathways have been studied for many years, detailed knowledge of the ways in which they recognise and eliminate pathogens are only now beginning to emerge. In this lecture I will focus mainly on the work that we have carried out at Leicester to understand the molecular changes that initiate complement activation. In particular, I will describe how structural and functional studies have revealed how components of the complement pathways recognise pathogens and how they interact with one another to fulfil their important biological roles. In the future, it is hoped that the detailed knowledge gained about how the immune system functions during health will help towards the development of novel therapeutics aimed at targeting disease.