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    UCL Infection, Immunology and Inflammation Symposium 2014

    By Guest Blogger, on 2 December 2014

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    Written by Yusuf Topal, first year PhD student

    Discoveries in infection, immunology and inflammation (III) are defining 21st-century medicine, shifting the paradigm of almost every clinical discipline.

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    This is reflected by the broad scope of research taking place at UCL, as showcased at this year’s UCL III Symposium, held at the UCL Institute of Child Health on 24 November.

    The UCL III Theme is a large cross-disciplinary research community, which helps to facilitate interaction and collaboration across UCL and its partner hospitals and organisations.

    The amalgamation of III scientists and clinicians across UCL have already unlocked some of the long kept secrets of diseases such as HIV, cancer, malaria, TB, asthma and arthritis. Such a collaborative culture also provides a rich platform for aspiring PhD students and postdoctoral scientists.

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    Antibiotics: the rise and fall of a ‘wonder drug’

    By Claire Roberts, on 12 December 2013

    AntibioticsProfessor Peter Taylor (UCL School of Pharmacy) began his Lunch Hour Lecture with a chesty cough – an ironic note to the problems faced by both his immune system and society, as he notes you can’t, of course, cure a common cold with antibiotics. The confusion about this is just one of the reasons for the emergence of dangerous resistance to antibiotics – the subject of Professor Taylor’s Lecture.

    He first presented the incontestable fact that antibiotics have changed the world. They are arguably the most important medical breakthrough of the 20th century, with the 1941 introduction of penicillin hailed as a ‘miracle cure’ for infections that could devastate populations (not least because of its serendipitous discovery by Alexander Fleming).

    Our 70-year run of antibiotic use is a drop in the ocean compared to the 10,000 years that humans have faced – and succumbed – to these infections.

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    Infection, immunology and inflammation research on show at annual Symposium

    By news editor, on 23 October 2013

    pencil-iconWritten by Andy Kumar (MRes Biomedicine 2012-13 ,UCL Institute of Child Health)

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    The Symposium audience

    There is no doubt about it. Medical research has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Much of this is down to the vast amount of research being conducted worldwide, with both scientists and doctors working tirelessly to discover novel treatments for a vast array of medical conditions.

    The annual Infection, Immunology and Inflammation Symposium held at the UCL Institute of Child Health showcased the research of a number of passionate UCL academics and its partners. With an almost fully packed auditorium, there was a real buzz among the attendees.

    Cutting edge research
    The morning session on infection contained some excellent presentations on microbial genome  sequencing of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and the effects of antibiotic resistance upon the population delivered by Professor Sharon Peacock, as well as the genes involved in the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Dr Kristine Arnvig.

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    Is my immune system normal?

    By news editor, on 12 June 2013

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    Man sneezing, by Placbo on Flickr

    pencil-iconWritten by Maeve McMahon, who attended a lecture by Professor Arne Akbar (UCL Immunology) at the Cheltenham Science Festival, entitled ‘Is my immune system normal?’

    I usually succumb to three bouts of the common cold a year – once over Christmas, once during exams and the final wild-card infection usually manages to time itself to ruin a holiday.

    Is that normal? Hundreds of people who wanted to know the answer attended an event at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival. Vivienne Parry, host of BBC Radio 4’s Am I Normal?, chaired a panel of researchers who investigate immunity.

    Imagine, suggested Professor Arne Akbar (UCL Division of Infection and Immunity), that you are a pork chop left out in the sun. You might just smell a little on the first day. But over the course of a few days, you would begin to stink and turn to mush as your tissue broke down.

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