The approximately 50 million people in the U.S. who suffer from autoimmune diseases like HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis, may soon be able to control their immune responses, thanks to a breakthrough discovery by a researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Wilfred Jefferies, a professor at UBCs Biotechnology Laboratory, has discovered and characterized the mechanics of a cellular pathway that triggers immune responses. He and his team have also uncovered a specialized cell substructure, or organelle, that dictates exactly how the immune system will be activated.
"This discovery opens the door to the immune system control room," says Jefferies, who is also a member of UBCs Biomedical Research Centre. "Weve found a mechanism that appears to act like a dial – it can turn immune system response up or down."
Hilary Thomson | EurekAlert!
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