Young scientist wins world acclaim for deciphering the code of the immune system

New research by an Australian student reveals the code our bodies use to control our immune systems. Her work could have tremendous medical benefits.

Unlocking this code represents a dramatic step forward in the fight to prevent autoimmune disease, allergies and to improve vaccines.

Amanda Gett a student at the Centenary Institute in Sydney, discovered that the major immune cells in the blood, the T lymphocytes, change their behaviour as they divide according to a logical sequence.

Many diseases result form dysregulation of the T lymphocyte response including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, allergies and asthma. The disovery of how normal regulation operates provides a dramatic, and unexpected insight into what might be happening when disease occurs, and more importantly suggests novel strategies for therapy.

Amanda’s work for her Ph.D. which has already gained her the Australasian Immunological Society “New Investigator” award at the annual conference in December 1998, was carried out under the direction of Dr Phil Hodgkin, head of the Immune regulation group at the Centenary Institute. The Centenary Institute is one of Australia’s leading medical research centres specialising in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of asthma, cancer and diabetes and is located on the campus of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.

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