exploring repair mechanisms for brain inflammation
Published 17 November 2009
Cures for devastating injuries and diseases including strokes and multiple sclerosis may be hiding inside proteins in the body's immune system, scientists have discovered. Professor Pietro Ghezzi, in his inaugural lecture later this month, will explore how the system and the body's mechanisms for responding to injury or infections may hold the secrets to treating a whole host of such neurological diseases associated with brain inflammation.
Professor Ghezzi, the RM Phillips Chair of Experimental Medicine at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, will speak on 'Changing signals: exploring repair mechanisms for brain inflammation'. He will outline the analysis of cytokines - proteins that signal the presence of infection or inflammation in various roles of the immune system.
He said cytokines can harm or heal, so understanding how these signals work can play a key part in the response to injury and promote repair.
By studying the interactions between cytokines, known as mediators, and looking at their protective and repairing abilities, possible cures for several diseases associated with inflammation, not just in the brain, may well be found.
Professor Ghezzi said: "Some molecules we are studying may provide a promising therapy for some of these diseases, but we will have to find ways to prevent their undesired effects and have them act only in the right direction. This is a difficult task as these are multifaceted mediators, acting on different types of cells."
Professor Ghezzi joined Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), a partnership between the universities of Brighton and Sussex and local NHS partners. in 2008. He obtained a PhD in Pharmacology from the Mario Negri Institute in Milan, Italy, and from 1998 to 2000 he was a research associate in the laboratory of the renowned immunologist and geneticist Len Herzenberg at the Department of Genetics of Stanford University, USA.
His lecture will take place on Tuesday, 24 November, 2009, at 6.30pm at the Chowen lecture theatre, BSMS teaching building, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9PX. To book seats, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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