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DeFranco, Locksley & Robertson: Immunity

Videos of leading immunologists

In these interviews, leading immunologists talk about some of the issues of outstanding interest and importance in their field, giving their own perspective on some controversial topics and unresolved questions that arise from the content of Immunity. Relevant sections of the book are listed with each interview.

The immunologists we filmed were invited to give a personal account of the issues they find interesting and important in their field, and the style and level of the interviews is as diverse as the individuals we spoke to. Some of them highlight important points already discussed in the text of Immunity, some provide historical context, and some go beyond the content of the book to discuss more recent advances, or to raise important unresolved issues, sometimes questioning the current consensus view.

Some will be easily understood on a relatively introductory acquaintance with immunology, others are more challenging and will be better appreciated by students who have advanced to later chapters in the book.

We have listed for each interview the relevant sections of the book, and this both provides an indication of how advanced the material is, and enables students to read the background to each discussion point.

Some interviews make reference to many points from different sections of the book and thus provide an overview from a broader perspective which is helpful for assimilating details from different chapters.

In some, the account given in the book is contradicted by the interviewee. We believe that, rather than generating confusion, this can help to reinforce important non-controversial points on which the argument is based, or to answer questions that may have arisen in the mind of the reader, where there are unresolved issues not discussed in the book.

Polly Matzinger

Detection of damage and danger


Polly Matzinger

Polly Matzinger is Head of the T-Cell Tolerance and Memory Section, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology at the US National Institutes of Health, and is well known for her provocative and sometimes controversial approach to central questions in immunology.

 

Polly Matzinger explains how she thinks the ability of immune cells to respond to infection must have evolved.

Relevant sections of the book:

1-2 Cells of the Immune System: Functional Characteristics
1-5 Major Histocompatibility Molecules and the Detection of Infection
2-11 Molecular Control of Apoptosis
3-0 Overview: Evolution and Function of Innate Immunity
3-8 Mechanisms of Phagocytosis
3-10 The Toll-Like Receptor Family of Innate Immune Receptors

Ken Shortman

The nature and diversity of dendritic cells


Ken Shortman

Ken Shortman is Head of Immunology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne where he works on the lineages and functional subsets of dendritic cells.

 

Ken Shortman discusses how the same subsets of dendritic cells could emerge from two distinct lineages and how the subsets are defined, and explains the importance of the tissue environment in their differentiation.

Relevant sections of the book:

1-1 Cells of the Immune System: Differentiation in the Bone Marrow
1-2 Cells of the Immune System: Functional Characteristics
1-3 Macrophage and Dendritic Cell Subsets
1-6 The Lymphoid System and Lymphocyte Circulation
4-9 Specialized Features of Antigen Presentation by Dendritic Cells

Gus Nossal

Vaccines


Gus Nossal

Sir Gustav Nossal is a very active Professor Emeritus at The University of Melbourne, where he pursues a long-standing interest in vaccine development after having spent 30 years as Director of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, internationally distinguished for its contributions to immunology.

 

Gus Nossal explains how vaccines work and describes some important recent advances in their development.

Relevant sections of the book:

3-0 Evolution and Function of Innate Immunity
5-16 T Cell Memory
6-12 Selection and Differentiation of B Cells in the Germinal Center
14-2 Features of Successful Vaccines
14-3 Engineering Vaccines for Safety and Efficacy
14-4 Vaccines for Chronic Infections and Cancer

Peter Doherty

The immune response to influenza virus


Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Rolf Zinkernagel in 1996 for discovery that the function of MHC molecules in immunity is to present antigens to T lymphocytes. He is now a Professor at the University of Melbourne and at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

 

Peter Doherty describes how the immune response to influenza virus can be either lethal or protective, and discusses how vaccines might be designed to overcome new pandemic virus strains.

Relevant sections of the book:

1-5 Major Histocompatibility Molecules and the Detection of Infection
1-8 The Course of an Immune Response
4-2 The Structure and Function of MHC Molecules
4-6 Antigen Presentation by Classical MHC Class I Molecules
5-16 T Cell Memory
10-7 Influenza Virus: Antigenic Shift and Drift
10-8 Influenza Virus: Innate and Adaptive Immunity
14-4 Vaccines for Chronic Infections and Cancer

Lewis Lanier

On the importance of natural killer (NK) cells


Lewis Lanier

Lewis Lanier is Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of California, San Francisco where he specializes in the signaling pathways and physiological functions of natural killer cells.

 

Lewis Lanier describes the role of natural killer (NK) cells in immunity to viruses and explains how they are activated.

Relevant sections of the book:

2-2 Signaling by Immunoglobulin Superfamily Receptors
8-1 Natural Killer Cells and their Role in Immunity
8-2 Natural Killer Cell Signaling Pathways
10-1 Overview: Innate Strategies against Viruses

Siamon Gordon

The many roles of macrophages


Siamon Gordon

Siamon Gordon is GlaxoWellcome Professor of Cellular Pathology at the University of Oxford, and has devoted his research life to investigating the recognition and effector mechanisms of macrophages.

 

Siamon Gordon discusses the extraordinary functional diversity of the body's most multifarious phagocytic cell.

Relevant sections of the book:

1-1 Cells of the Immune System: Differentiation in the Bone Marrow
1-3 Macrophage and Dendritic Cell Subsets
3-9 The Destructive Mechanisms of Phagocytes
3-15 Inflammation: Regulation and Systemic Effects
5-11 The Functions of TH1 Cells
5-12 The Functions of TH2 Cells
13-5 Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity Reactions

Polly Matzinger

Detection of damage and danger


Polly Matzinger

Polly Matzinger is Head of the T-Cell Tolerance and Memory Section, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology at the US National Institutes of Health, and is well known for her provocative and sometimes controversial approach to central questions in immunology.

 

Polly Matzinger argues that immune responses are tailored to the needs of different tissues.

Relevant sections of the book:

6-2 Structural Properties of Antibodies
6-3 Effector Functions of Antibodies
5-11 The Functions of TH1 Cells
5-12 The Functions of TH2 Cells
5-13 The Functions of TFH Cells, TH17 Cells and induced TREG Cells
5-14 Effector Functions of CD8 T Cells
12-4 Autoimmune Diseases: General Principles
13-5 Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity Reactions
14-3 Engineering Vaccines for Safety and Efficacy