Brighton professor gives inaugural lecture

Posted On 20 Nov 2009 at 1:36 am

A medical expert will give his inaugural lecture at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School next week.

Professor Pietro Ghezzi will explain how the cures for devastating injuries and diseases including strokes and multiple sclerosis may be hiding inside proteins in the body’s immune system.

The subject of his lecture will be “’Changing signals: exploring repair mechanisms for brain inflammation”.

Professor Ghezzi, the RM Phillips Chair of Experimental Medicine at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, will give his lecture on Tuesday.

It starts at 6.30pm in the Chowen lecture theatre at the medical school’s teaching building on the Sussex University campus in Falmer.

He will outline the analysis of cytokines – proteins that signal the presence of infection or inflammation in various roles of the immune system.

He said that cytokines can harm or heal, so understanding how these signals work can play a key part in the response to injury and promote repair.

By studying the interactions between cytokines, known as mediators, and looking at their protective and repairing abilities, possible cures for several diseases associated with inflammation, not just in the brain, may well be found.

Professor Ghezzi said: “Some molecules we are studying may provide a promising therapy for some of these diseases, but we will have to find ways to prevent their undesired effects and have them act only in the right direction.

“This is a difficult task as these are multifaceted mediators, acting on different types of cells.”

Professor Ghezzi joined the medical school, a partnership between Brighton University, Sussex University and the NHS, last year.

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