07:25am Tuesday 22 August 2017

Body’s defence at the heart of the matter

James Cook University’s Faculty of Medicine, Health and Molecular Science hosts the lectures, which cover all fields and varieties of science.

The lectures have proven very popular and are regarded as a great way to “take the university to the public”.

A panel of scientists from JCU and the Townsville Hospital will discuss the role of the body’s defence mechanisms in heart and vascular diseases in a talk titled Body’s Defence at Heart.

Professor Natkunam Ketheesan, from JCU’s Microbiology and Immunology department, in the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, is one of the presenters.

Professor Ketheesan said microbes were all around us.

“They’re in the environment, in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink,” he said.

“Every second your body is under attack. However, our bodies have a sophisticated armoury of immune cells and proteins that are constantly patrolling throughout your body, fighting microbes and protecting you from disease.”

The focus of the session will be on heart and vascular diseases and how the immune system plays an important role in the development and perpetuation of these diseases.

Dr Brenda Govan, Head of Microbiology and Immunology from JCU’s School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, said it was a coincidence the event was being held on World Immunology Day (April 29).

Dr Govan said JCU researchers who investigate how your immune system battles against diseases were inviting the Townsville community to share their exciting work and discoveries.

Dr Catherine Rush, who is working on several projects involving the immune system and its interaction with heart and vascular diseases, will talk on the role of immune cells in heart pathologies, particularly arthrosclerosis and aneurysms.

“The work of immunologists has been very important in every medical field,” she said.

“Over the years, 20 percent of the Nobel Laureates for Medicine and Physiology have been awarded the great honour for their discoveries in immunology related research.”

There will be a question and answer session where guests will be invited to ask questions on any aspects of the immune system and related diseases.

The session involves presentations by:

Dr Brenda Govan (Overview of the immune system)

Dr Catherine Rush (Role of immune cells in heart pathologies, particularly arthrosclerosis and aneurysms)

Dr Natkunam Ketheesan (role of immune cells that attack the heart cells in rheumatic fever and heart disease)

They will be joined by a group of experts from JCU and the Townsville Hospital including Drs Margret Jordan, Andreas Lopata and Robert Norton who will participate in a question and answer session where guests will be invited to ask questions on any aspects of the immune system and related diseases.

Date: Sunday April 29, 2012

Time: 2.30pm

Location: Shoredrive Motel, 117 The Strand, North Ward

Interview contact: Natkunam Ketheesan 4781 6876 or email: n.ketheesan@jcu.edu.au

 

 

JCU Media contact: Caroline Kaurila (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175


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