We All Have It: Innate Immunity

Dec 14, 2011

What do flies have in common with us?

For one thing, an innate immune system mechanism to detect and fight off invaders that threaten our health.

Four scientists, including two Nobel Laureates, will discuss host defense at a UC Davis symposium on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in the UC Davis Conference Center.

Nobel Laureates Jules Hoffmann of the University of Strasbourg, France and Bruce Beutler of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas will be among the speakers. They and Rockefeller University researcher Ralph Steinmann (who died in September) shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their groundbreaking discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity.

The symposium, sponsored by the UC Davis Center for Comparative Medicine and the
Murray B. Gardner Research Seminar Fund, will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Open to all interested persons, it's free but folks must register at http://conferences.ucdavis.edu/immunity to attend.

"In recent years, a remarkable evolutionary conservation of innate immune mechanisms has become apparent between flies, plants, mice and humans," according to the sponsors' flier. "Each of these species uses similar receptors to detect microbes. Therapeutic targeting of toll-like receptors for infectious and inflammatory disease and cancer, and crop engineering of these receptors for resistance to infection, is now a reality."

The Theme
A Symposium on the Evolution of Common Molecular Pathways Underlying Innate Immunity.

The Speakers
"The Drosophila Host Defense: A Model for the Study of Innate Immunity"
--Jules Hoffmann, University of Strasbourg, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

"Creating Immune Deficiencies by Random Mutagenesis in Mammals"
--Bruce Beutler, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, 2011 Nobel Laureaute in Physiology or Medicine

"The Rice XA21 Receptor Recognizes a Conserved Bacterial Signaling Molecule"
--Pamela Ronald, professor, Department of Plant Pathology, and faculty, UC Davis Genome Center

"Toll-Like Receptors and Inflammasomes: Key Drivers of Inflammatory Diseases"
--Luke O'Neill, professor, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College, Dublin

The Contact Person:
Anita Moore at (530) 752-1245.

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

Immune system of the tiny  Drosophila plays a big role in host defense. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Immune system of the tiny Drosophila plays a big role in host defense. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)