Social Responsibility and Sustainability

The immune system and the problem of identifying 'self'

The immune system has a problem with ’self’. It is able to recognise an almost infinite variety of molecular structures, including the potential to respond to our own body

The risk of 'self-reaction' has been mitigated during the evolution by the addition of layer upon layer of control checkpoints that allow us to respond to infection, without developing autoimmunity. A checkpoint failure can lead to autoimmune disease, while the perfect functioning of immune checkpoints may mean that we cannot reject a tumour.

Recent developments in our understanding of the checkpoints and the drugs that can modulate them have led to breakthroughs in the treatment of both autoimmune disease and cancer.

Professor of Immunology and Head of the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, David Gray is also the Head of University of Edinburgh School of Biological Sciences, 

There will be a short Q&A following the talk

Doors open at 6.15pm

Our Changing World Series

The Our Changing World series, now in its ninth year, is a credit-bearing course that opens its doors to the public, who we invite to attend fascinating and accessible talks alongside our students. This year's theme is 'identity'. For more information on the series please visit:

Photography and filming

This event will be recorded. For any further information contact the administrator:

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Oct 2 2018 18.30 - 20.00

The immune system and the problem of identifying 'self'

Entry is on a first come first served basis. If you are late, we cannot guarantee your place.
This event may be photographed and/or recorded for promotional or recruitment materials for the University and University approved third parties.

Gordon Aikman Lecture Theatre, 32 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LH