A leading Strathclyde scientist will be taking his audience on a journey around the body, passing through the immune system and guided by research, at the University's annual Faculty of Science lecture this week.
The public lecture, by Professor Paul Garside, Director of the University's Centre for Biophotonics, will explore the importance of the immune system to human life, advances made in controlling it it and possible solutions to turning it on for vaccines and off in autoimmune disease.
The event, on Wednesday 13 May , will be entitled Fantastic Voyage and is inspired by the 1966 film of the same name, in which a scientific team embark on a journey through an important politician's body to heal a blood clot in his brain.
The theme of the talk is closely linked to the work of the Centre for Biophotonics, which uses high-resolution optical imaging to open a window to the inner body.
Along the way, the journey will look at major achievements in the understanding of the immune system, such as treatments which were developed to diminish greatly the threat of polio, and will explore why diseases and conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and malaria are still a risk.
But the voyage will end on a note of hope, with the message that scientists are driving forward to find solutions to these major health problems.
The key to this mission lies in multi-disciplinary research, of the kind carried out at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, the world-class, innovative drug discovery centre which brings prominent scientists and researchers together in pursuit of answers to today's biggest health challenges.
Professor Garside said: "On this journey, we will see why blood cells of the immune system have to move around the body to do their job. Previously, scientists were only able to infer this movement but now we are actually able to see it.
"We will also be looking at tissues which are the targets of disease, like the gut, blood vessels and the brain. If we can get in and get a better understanding of all this, we can design better drugs and target them where they are needed.
"The work we are doing covers not only biology and physics but also chemistry , maths and engineering. Strathclyde is renowned for this type of multi-disciplinary approach."
The lecture will be given in Strathclyde's Court/Senate Lecture Theatre, Collins Building, Richmond Street, at 6 pm. Tea and coffee will be available before the lecture, from 5:30 pm, and a reception will follow from 7 pm. Tickets, free of charge, are available from Fiona Lynn, Communications Office, on 0141 548 3493.
9 May 2008