Skip to comments.A Long Journey to Immune System Insights
Posted on 01/31/2012 12:02:21 AM PST by neverdem
Ruslan M. Medzhitov loves scientific puzzles. And this penchant has led him to tackle some of the big questions of modern biology.
At Yale University, where he is a professor of immunology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, Dr. Medzhitov, 45, helped make key discoveries in the workings of vertebrates immune systems. We spoke about them at his home in Guilford, Conn.; again in New York City; and finally by telephone. An edited and condensed version of the sessions follows.
Lets talk about the paper by the immunologist Charles A. Janeway Jr. that changed your life. When did you learn about it?
In 1992. I was a doctoral student at Moscow State University reading biology. And I do mean reading, because this was the time after the Soviet Union had come apart and the economy was in chaos. There were few functioning laboratories anymore because no one could get materials and reagents. My education consisted of lectures and whatever I could read in my area of study molecular evolution. But even reading was difficult. As a consequence of the economic crisis, subscriptions to most scientific journals had been canceled. Moscow University, the top school in the country, didnt have them. The only library with anything was at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and it barred nonaffiliated people from their facilities. Luckily, I...
How did you finally prove his theory?
Our main goal was to discover the gene in the cells of the innate immune system that activates the adaptive system. That would explain how our body knows we have an infection and translates it into an immune response. It took about two years, but we found it. Today, this gene is known at the human Toll-like receptor, and it is important in immunity and in inducing inflammation...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
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I just keep taking my probiotics and D3.
I would like to read this, but refuse to subscribe to the NYT.
>> refuse to subscribe to the NYT <<
This article is “free.” No subscription required.
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