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Tickets are free but need to be reserved from:
Sheila Willmott
01225 386 631.

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Professor Steve Ward
Professor Steve Ward
Photo by Nic Delves Broughton University Photographer
Sat-Nav in the immune system
Sat-Nav in the immune system

Press Release - 24 April 2006

Free inaugural lecture: Sat-Nav for the immune system

Local people will be able to find out about research into the development of new treatments for a wide range of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and sepsis syndrome at a free inaugural lecture this week (Wednesday 26 April 2006).

As part of the body’s normal immune response to diseases or infections, certain cells or organs become inflamed to help the body heal itself.

Sometimes, for example with rheumatoid arthritis, this system can become faulty and the swelling produced by the inflammatory response can become painful and debilitating.

In some infections, such as sepsis syndrome, the inflammation triggered by the immune system contributes as much to the disease process as the infectious agents that caused it.

Research at the University of Bath is helping understand the chemical processes that control inflammation in the immune system, with the aim of developing new treatments that can help treat this family of diseases.

“Inflammation is usually a beneficial response to a foreign challenge or tissue injury that ultimately leads to the restoration of tissue structure and function,” said Professor Steve Ward from the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology who will be giving the lecture.

“White blood cells play a key role in the body's immune system by destroying invading pathogens as part of the immune response.

“To find the site where they are needed, they use chemical signals that emanate from the inflamed or infected part of the body.

“These signals are like satellite navigation for the immune system that we can use to develop new types of drugs which could help us treat these diseases.

“In spite of the diversity of these diseases, the number of drugs available for doctors to treat inflammatory diseases is actually very limited.

“In particular we are looking at role of chemokines and PI3K isoforms in the immune system to see how we might inhibit their action and help treat these inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.”

The lecture is taking place at 6.15pm in 2 East 3.1 on Wednesday 26 April 2006. Tickets are free but need to be reserved from Sheila Willmott on 01225 386 631.

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