The body's all-important immune system will be the focus of Simon Fraser University's next Café Scientifique event, on Wednesday, Nov. 21 from 7-8: 30 pm at Surrey's City Centre Library.
Jonathan Choy, an immunologist and an assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at SFU, will share details about how the human body protects itself from constant exposure to bacteria, viruses, fungi and other infectious organisms.
"Our immune system functions as a constant defense mechanism to protect against diseases caused by these infectious agents," said Choy, who will also explain some ways that modern medicine can modulate the immune system for health benefit, such as by vaccination, and how a lack of proper control of the immune system causes some chronic diseases.
Choy teaches immunology and studies the mechanisms that control immune responses. He is particularly interested in how immune responses cause organ transplant rejection.
"Transplantation is a life-saving procedure for many people, but the immune system actively recognizes transplanted organs as foreign and mounts an immune response towards it that destroys the graft unless patients are administered immunosuppressive drugs," he said.
"Finding out how immune responses are controlled during transplantation has the potential to not only increase the success of this procedure but to serve as a basis for understanding how immune responses are controlled in general."
The Café Scientifique series, free and open to the public, is designed to connect the community with research on a variety of important health-related issues.
Other issues that will be addressed in this ongoing series focus on stem cells, the development of anti-viral drugs and new cancer therapies.