Health Information Series

UBC Health Information Series and the Life Sciences Institute Presents “Harnessing the Immune System to Treat Infection, Autoimmune Disorders and Cancer”

May 27, - 6.00PM to 8.00PM at the Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch

VPL-spotlight_v2Our ability to harness the power of the immune system to treat a vast variety of diseases is rapidly advancing. Join the Life Sciences Institute’s Infection, Inflammation & Immunity – I3 – research group leaders for short talks and discussion about the use of the immune system in treating infection, autoimmune disorders and cancer.

This talk is an informal and open forum that aims to bring the latest and greatest ideas in the area of the Life Sciences to the public. Each event is free to attend and will include a talk, networking opportunities and reception. This series focuses on Personalized Medicine and how the Life Sciences Institute faculty, staff and students are working to change clinical practice, improve health outcomes, and reduce health costs.  In partnership with the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre’s Health Information Series, an ongoing public lecture series that take place in the Lower Mainland community, this talk will also be recorded for webcast viewing at a later date. 

Panel Topics:

Dr. Georgia Perona-Wright – “Using the immune system to combat infection”

Dr. Ken Harder – “Treating cancer with immunology”

Dr. Marc Horwitz – “Immunotherapies in autoimmunity”


Dr. Georgia Perona-Wright - Dr Perona Wright’s research is on immune responses that can be both protective and pathological.  Her aim is to understand how the balance between these two outcomes is achieved, concentrating on the role of cytokines during infection.  She is particularly interested in the interaction between coincident, opposing cytokines.

Dr. Ken Harder - The long-term goal of the Harder Lab is to identify the key genes and cellular pathways that guide dendritic cell lineage choice and dendritic cell function. We are particularly interested in the role of tyrosine kinase/phosphatase-regulated signalling pathways that control signalling thresholds important for the development and function of DCs. The work utilizes mouse models in which the levels and activities of key signaling molecules have been manipulated allowing the lab to delineate the roles of particular genes or signalling pathways in mammalian dendritic cell biology and in innate/adaptive immunity at the whole animal level.  The lab is using these mouse models to explore the relationship between alterations in DC development/function and host responses to tumours and bacterial or viral pathogens. Ultimately, this research program will lead to the identification of critical proteins and pathways that may become targets of future therapeutic strategies to either augment host-pathogen/tumour responses or alleviate pathological immune responses.

Dr. Marc Horwitz - Dr. Horwitz’s laboratory is interested in identifying, characterizing and determining the mechanisms of viral-induced immune disease in a variety of complex chronic disorders. These include, but are not limited to autoimmune diseases like diabetes, autoimmune myocarditis and multiple sclerosis, immunosuppression induced by viruses such as HIV and Measles, haemorrhagic fevers as observed following Dengue fever virus infection, and meningitis induced by viruses like West Nile Virus.  Specifically, Dr. Horwitz’s primary goal of the program is to interconnect the changes effecting the ability of the immune system to respond to infection with its ability to develop immune dysfunction leading to disease. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level
Central Library
350 West Georgia Street

To attend this talk, please RSVP online.

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For more information about this series, please contact Lee Ann Bryant, Reference Librarian or Allan Cho, Community Engagement Librarian

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Harnessing the Immune System to Treat Infection, Autoimmune Disorders and Cancer

May 27, 2014, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level, Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch

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