Defending our lungs and guts - immunity at barriers

Join Professor Cecilia Johansson online or in person, for her Imperial Inaugural.

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Why some people suffer from severe virus infection while others are largely asymptomatic is puzzling. It is also unclear why some virus infections preferentially cause severe disease in infants while others do so in the elderly. Immune responses at barrier sites such as the lung and gut are key to combating viruses and stopping infection. However, immune responses are also the cause of severe disease when they are too strong, misdirected or too persistent. Thus, we need to understand the mechanisms underlying balanced immunity at barrier sites and how the immune response is regulated to provide protection from virus infections without causing pathology. 

You can read more about Cecilia’s work here:


Cecilia Johansson is Professor of Mucosal Immunology at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London and her research focuses on immune responses to respiratory virus infections. In her inaugural lecture, she will discuss how immune responses to virus infections of guts and lungs are initiated and finely tuned to eliminate viruses while protecting from severe disease.

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