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The battle against influenza

Thursday 20th February 2014 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00


Peter JM Openshaw , Professor of Experimental Medicine. Director of the Centre of Respiratory Infection.

The threat from a modern global epidemic is real. A deadly disease could travel at jet speed around the world spreading across the continents in just a few days, causing illness, panic and death.

Uncover the world of infections and hear how concerned we should be about worldwide epidemics.

More infections are spread via the respiratory tract than by any other route.  Respiratory pathogens are responsible for a huge worldwide disease burden; they mutate fast, cross species barriers, threaten patients with pre-existing lung diseases, evade antimicrobial treatments and respond rapidly to demographic and economic change.  Some (e.g. tuberculosis) are on the rise, while others (e.g. SARS and ‘avian’ influenza) are emerging threats to health and prosperity.

Respiratory infections (excluding TB) cause more morbidity and mortality than all cancers.

There is an urgent need for new vaccines and antimicrobial drugs, and for agents that beneficially modify host immune responses.

Key research areas include the early ‘innate’ response to microbial invasion, the influence of these responses on T and B cell immunity, the role of over-exuberant immunity in causing disease and studies of immune evasion, re-infection and persistence.  Other important topics include the effects of genetic variation, infection history, co-infections, immune immaturity and senescence. 

Professor Peter Openshaw

Prof Peter Openshaw is the Director of the Centre for Respiratory Infection (CRI) at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.  He is also Professor of Experimental Medicine and an Honorary Physician in the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the St Mary's Campus of the Imperial College NHS Trust.

Professor Openshaw's research is on the immunology of the lung, viral lung disease, vaccination and immunopathogenesis of viral disease.  He was among the first 100 elected Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences, has served on Wellcome Trust's Clinical Interest Group, Infection and Immunity and the Tropical and Clinical Panels,  and the Immunology and Infectious Diseases panel.

In 2009 Peter was invited by the Department of Health to become a member of the Scientific Advisory Group in Emergencies (SAGE), chaired by the Chief Government Scientist, which advised the UK Government on pandemic influenza.

He received the Chanock Award in 2012 for lifetime contribution to RSV research in Sand Fe, New Mexico. He is Vice-Presdient of the European Scietific WOrking Group on Influenza and a European Councillor for the Society of Mucosal Immunology. Earlier this year he was elected President of the British Society for Immunology. He has co-authored over 200 scientific papers.

Centre for Respiratory Infection

The Wellcome Trust funded Centre for Respiratory Infection, hosted within the Faculty of Medicine was founded in 2008.  The Centre integrates a cross-college network of investigators to develop, test and apply innovative interventions in respiratory infections and is led by Director, Professor Peter Openshaw.It promotes systematic and interdisciplinary research into the immunobiology and pathogenesis of respiratory infections in animal models and in man with the aim of enhancing preparedness for future outbreaks of respiratory infection.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).
After the lecture a Friends' Table has been reserved at a local restaurant to entertain the speaker and for any of the audience who would like to join us to continue the evening's discussion. A two-course fixed price supper is served including wine, coffee and service charge.
Or if you have already booked for the event and now want to join us for supper Book Supper now

Venue: SAF Building, Imperial College London

Campus Map reference 33
on the Imperial College London Map