Our world is a gloriously messy place. Every day we venture out into the germy unknown, meeting a whole range of tiny organisms. We fuel our bodies with germy food, we even share germs with one another as we talk and touch. Sounds terrifying, but most of the time we breeze through unharmed. For this small wonder we can thank the defense system woven into the fabric of our bodies, protecting us from dangers inside and out: the immune system.
A single drop of our blood is packed with thousands of white blood cells armed and ready to protect us. Scientists are studying these cells, and the molecules they make, to understand how our defense system works. This research has brought us amazing medical advances, from vaccines to new cancer treatments. But it’s not just important for scientists. Ideas about the immune system influence our everyday choices: from deciding if a glass of orange juice will help to fight off an impending cold to whether that run in the rain will do more harm than good.
My name is Katie Walwyn-Brown and I am a PhD student in Immunology at the University of Manchester. This means I spend my days studying the white blood cells of your immune system: looking at them, testing them, talking about them and, in occasional moments of desperation, talking to them. But I also love getting out of the lab and sharing my enthusiasm for all things immunology. There’s a lot of exciting research out there but there’s misleading information too. That’s why I started this blog, to share some of the amazing things we are learning and to look more closely at some of the myths. I also want to hear what capture your curiosity and where you think scientists should be aiming their research. Together the possibilities are infinite. To Immunity and Beyond.
LinkedIn: Katie Walwyn-Brown