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Our immune system helps protect us from infection by a whole host of bacteria and viruses every day. But how does it do this so efficiently and adapt so well? Can our mood help keep us healthy? What happens when our bodies turn against us? Come and find out in an event dedicated to your own personal defence system.
Let's Talk About Allergies!
Dr Lucy Fairclough (Assistant Professor in Immunology)
An allergy is the response of the body's immune system to something foreign that is normally a harmless substance. Some examples of foreign substances that can cause allergies include pollens, foods, and house dust mite. Whilst in most people these substances pose no problem, in allergic individuals their immune system identifies them as a threat and produces an inappropriate or unnecessary response to them. In this talk I will discuss what is already known about allergies and talk about the clinical consequences of allergies.
The Immune System: Ready When You Need It!
Paddy Tighe (Associate Professor)
Your immune system protects you from infection, it removes dying cells from your body, helps heal wounds and kills off abnormal cells. Sometimes it does its job a little too well and reacts to harmless things, like pollen or specific foods, leading to an allergy. Very infrequently your immune system can misbehave and starts damaging your own cells, leading to autoimmunity. This talk will introduce you to how your immune system works, the different cells and tissues of the immune system and some of the really important molecules that help protect you from infection.
Psychology, Behaviour, and Immunity – Can How We Feel Affect Our Body’s Response to Vaccination?
Dr. Kieran Ayling (Senior Research Fellow)
You’ve probably heard people say they tend to get sick when they are “over tired”, “run down” or “stressed”? But is this true? Can our emotional well-being, really impact on our risk of getting ill? This talk will discuss some of the evidence suggesting that our lifestyles and emotional well-being can influence the immune system, with knock on effects to our health. We will also talk about ongoing work considering whether these influences on immunity could modify how well our bodies respond to vaccines – and if so, can we use this to improve protection against disease?