ABOUT THE COURSE

The study of innate immunity is gaining momentum in South Africa – notably, with respect to the understanding of major health problems such as TB and HIV. SA is one of few places with state-of-the-art research facilities and institutions but faced with the crises of TB and HIV. There is therefore dire need to drive basic research to address global issues as well as those peculiar to Africa. In the last decade South Africa has seen a steady rise in the number of research groups studying specific innate immune topics. It is now also gaining ground at graduate level teaching. Moreover, researchers in the area of innate immunity worldwide are tackling new problems pushing the frontiers in our understanding of host defences. This reinforces the need for international collaborations and partnerships. The series of lectures will provide a platform to share the latest research results and foster national and international partnerships.

This conference is aimed at exposing young scientists and students to the latest findings in the field of innate immunity and to provide a platform for encouraging future immunological research in this area. The conference also aims to facilitate collaborative research between researchers.
The innate immune system provides the major line of defense against invading organisms for invertebrates, and a first line of defense for vertebrates. Using natural infection models, the role of innate immunity in protection from acquiring infections, resolution of infections and disease severity, and control of chronic infections has gained increasing interest. Classical textbook definitions of features distinguishing adaptive from innate immunity are currently being challenged. For example, mouse models have shown that natural killer cells, cells of the innate immune system, possess attributes of adaptive immune cells, such as “memory” of prior antigenic exposures. Furthermore, these cells can recognize conserved molecular patterns and possess fine specificity. This era in the study of innate immunity holds enormous promise for identifying correlates of protection for various diseases, and for contributing to improvements in vaccines that include not only the use of adjuvants, but the potential to directly target innate immune cells for protection. This conference will explore the molecular evolutions of pathogens and the host defense mechanisms and provide current research findings on the development of vaccines to pathogens of global significance.

 

VENUE

 

   

Stay City conveniently located close to Gauteng's major freeways and transport routes, near the hub of metro Johannesburg, bordering Houghton.
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