Science students become immunologists for a day at Hudson Institute of Medical Research

A group of students from the John Monash Science School experienced the future of science during a Discovery Tour at Hudson Institute of Medical Research to celebrate International Day of Immunology.

The Year 10 students went into to the lab to determine the cause of a disease outbreak and participated in activities such as using a UV light to learn how well they really wash their hands.

The students also toured the new $84M, state-of-the-art Monash Health Translation Precinct Translational Research Facility, and heard presentations from and spoke with leading Hudson Institute immunity researchers and PhD students about their work and careers.

Professor Paul Hertzog, head of Hudson’s Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases, says the immune system is crucial to both fighting disease and basic human health.

“The immune system has rday-of-immunology-2elevance to everyday life, including the importance of immunisation; the role of diet and our microbiome in maintaining a healthy immune system,” Professor Hertzog said.

“It is an exciting area for future study and work, in medicine, in research and in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Infection and immunity research and development is one of Victoria’s strengths, employing upwards of 5000 people,” he said.

“This was a great opportunity for students to see real research applications first-hand, and this will assist students with their future subject and career choices,” Kirstine Carter, Career Pathways Coordinator at John Monash Science School, said.

Event organiser and Hudson Institute scientist, Dr Jennifer Dowling, says Day of Immunology activities foster a greater appreciation of the importance of our immune system.

“We hope that we can build students’ knowledge about the crucial role the immune system plays in helping us to understand and treat diseases, from lupus to Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer,” Dr Dowling said.

Hudson Institute of Medical Research is a leading centre for research into innate immunity and infectious diseases. Scientists at Hudson are developing new approaches to preventing, diagnosing and treating infections, cancer and inflammatory diseases including diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimers.

International Day of Immunology has been celebrated worldwide since 2007, and in Victoria since 2009, under the auspices of the Australian Society for Immunology.

Day-of-immunology-2016-3“I hope the students get excited about the wonders of the immune system; how it works, its importance in disease and how we can manipulate it in the treatment of diseases like cancer, autoimmunity and infections,” Professor Hertzog said.

Thank you to organisers and volunteers from the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases (CiiiD) – Dr Jennifer Dowling, Dr Nollaig Bourke, Dr Virginie Deswaerte, Dr Eveline De Geus, Dr Le Son Tran, Dr Belinda Thomas and Kimberley D’Costa.

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