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From the Director - Inflammation

29 July 2013

Scope 51

If you have ever been stung by a bee, burnt your finger or had an ingrown toenail – you know what acute inflammation looks and feels like.

Chronic inflammation is a different story. Falling just below the radar of pain and visible swelling, chronic inflammation can go undetected for years. It is the widespread tissue damage caused by uncontrolled inflammatory immune responses that leads to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes and arthritis.

For nearly two decades now, scientists at the Malaghan Institute have been focused on understanding our immune system, and how it can be harnessed for the treatment of disease.

With multiple sclerosis and gout, our goal is to develop improved, non-steroidal therapies that turn off unwanted inflammatory immune responses, as described in this newsletter. With other diseases such as cancer however, we are using vaccines to turn the immune system on, which you can read about in the next issue of Scope.

Our immune system is one of nature’s most exquisite inventions. All we are doing is finding ways to fine-tune it for optimal health and prevention of illness.

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