We are tickled pink to welcome iconic immunologist Polly Matzinger to BUGSS. In this case any hyperbole seems woefully inadequate to describe her work or her life. She'll be talking about her Danger Model of the Immune System, which repudiates the self-non-self model illustrated by the antibody scene in Fantastic Voyage. (turn the sound way up, and practice your French with this very poor quality video)
In Dr. Matzinger's words:
"For more than half a century people who study the immune system have made the assumption that it functions by discriminating between self and non-self. The idea was that each person's immune system learns what "self" is early in life by labeling anything present at the time as "self". Anything arriving later than a few days after birth was labelled as "non-self" and attacked (i.e. viruses, bacteria, fungi, worms, transplanted organs etc). Over the years it has become clear that this assumption doesn't really work and a new model has emerged. The "danger" model suggests that the immune system doesn't really care about self vs non-self but is poised to respond against things that do damage. After all, you don't want to make immune responses to everything in the air you breathe, or the food you eat, or your fetuses, or the sperm that fertilize those fetuses. You want to attack things that do damage! The model was first proposed about 18 years ago, and evidence supporting it has been accumulating slowly ever since."
This is a rare opportunity to hear a superstar scientist talk about her work in terms accessible to the layperson yet engaging for the expert. This event is free (donations are welcome to keep our community lab running) and open to the public. You should come! Please RSVP Here
h/t Howard Young and Robin Winkler
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