Researchers, past and present colleagues of Professor Sir Andrew McMichael, gathered on the 21st September 2012 for a Symposium reflecting on the evolution of Immunology in Oxford.
Active and passive immunity to Influenza
Professor Townsend tells us about lessons to be drawn from the history of immunology in Oxford, from 1979 onwards, until his current research on active and passive immunity to influenza. All these developments happened in Oxford because the atmosphere was right, open, researchers were encouraged to explore, and there was an enthusiasm in a great environment. Experiments and discoveries were made possible by the very open attitude of the supervisors at the time, telling their team that they they could do anything they wanted. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Some final words
Professor Sir Andrew McMichael speaks about his early days in Oxford, working in immunology. With a touch of humour he compares the tools available to immunologist in 1971 with today's technology. He also explains how immunology progressed from explaining phenomena to molecular immunology.
The Human Immunology Unit
The increasing globalisation of infectious disease is a major challenge to human health. The MRC Human Immunology Unit is a key player in international efforts to combat this threat, and in research into other diseases involving the immune system. The immune system is crucial to human health. Our ability to identify and destroy invading pathogens involves complex networks of interacting cells and molecules. Understanding precisely how the system works at the cellular, genetic and molecular levels will help in the development of new therapies for diseases such as AIDS, avian flu, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and eczema. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Correlates of protection, the China Connection
Professor Xiao-Ning Xu talks about his research on emerging infectious diseases in China, from the SARS outbreak in 2003/4 to flu pandemic and HIV infection. Professor Xu also follows a HIV cohort in Beijing, and studies their T cell responses to the HIV conserved region. The stimulation of HIV-specific cytolytic T lymphocytes offers a new strategy for vaccine development. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Time to escape
Dr Nilu Goonetilleke talks about her research within the CHAVI project (NIH Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology). In the course of HIV infection, the fate is set early, since the early immune response is an important factor in determining the clinical course of the disease. Most patients are infected with a single transmitted founder virus. The first stages of the infection are of crucial importance: the first effective immune responses drive the selection of virus escape mutations. Strong innate and adaptive immune responses occur subsequently but they are too late to eliminate the infection. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Professor Sarah Rowland-Jones talks about her research on HIV, first in Oxford then in Africa, in Kenya and in The Gambia. Professor Rowland-Jones studies protective immunity against HIV infection. It was early recognized that cytotoxic T cells play an important part in the control of HIV-1 infection; exposure to the less pathogenic HIV-2 strain leads to protection agains HIV-1 in people with a certain HLA type. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/