“Can a worm a day keep diabetes away?”

Dr Sheila Donnelly, University of Technology, Sydney presents in the QTHA Electronic Seminar series.

"Can a worm a day keep diabetes away?"
Friday 28th June 2013, 2 pm JCU, Cairns Library B1.031 Videolinked to JCU Townsville Aust. Tropical Science & Innovation Precinct room 030 (145-030)
All Welcome

More than one third of the world's population is infected with parasite worms, ranging from the relatively harmless pinworm, to pathogenic worms that cause cancer, anaemia and elephantiasis. At first sight, it may be difficult to see any possible benefit to humans from infection with these fiendish parasites. However, to promote their own survival, parasite worms regulate their hosts' immune response. Fortuitously, this also appears to control excessive inflammatory reactions associated with many autoimmune diseases, which presents the possibility that these worms could be used as a therapeutic treatment to cure debilitating autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, type-1 diabetes and Crohn's disease. In this seminar, I will describe the mechanisms used by the trematode parasite, Fasciola hepatica, to modulate the immune responses of its host and discuss the potent immune-modulatory effects of individual molecules within the secretomes of this worm.

Sheila's scientific career started with a PhD in viral immunology at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Since then her interest in understanding host-pathogen interactions has not waivered! For the last few years, at UTS, she has focused primarily in characterising the molecules that are secreted by helminth parasites and in particular identifying unique immune-modulating proteins.

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