Comparative Immunology and Socioeconomic Ramifications


INSTRUCTOR: Aileen Marty


SCHEDULE: Monday, 2:10pm – 4:40pm

Course Description

The course encompasses the scope of immunological functions and principles for bacteria, animals, and humans. The approach presents immunology from a one health perspective. The approach recognizes that life on our complex world is interconnected and reveals the role of the immune system in harmonizing with that complexity. The perspective emphasizes that all life including plants, animals, people, and their products are embedded in a complex environment made more complex by the socioeconomic, political, and habitat changes produced by humans. A deep understanding of immunology reveals the process either cause or protect us from many disorders. These disorders include infections, autoimmune disease, allergies, immunosuppressive disorders, and cancers.
Moreover, current understanding has allowed us to harnessed the innate and adaptive immune system of bacteria and animals to create the tools of molecular engineering; the course reveals the impact these tools are having on new diagnostics and treatments of human, animal, and plant diseases, and on the social and moral aspects of utilizing these tools. We also explore the possible misuse of this technology and scientific, policy, and practical steps available to assure the proper use of these technologies. Participants will gain insights on the importance of understanding the evolution of the innate and adaptive immunologic systems and how this knowledge is benefiting human health and socioeconomic security while exploring how immunology inexorably interrelates us with other living things and with the environment.
We review how political and ideological factors and world events influence the expansion of scientific knowledge in this field. In particular, we show how the AIDS epidemic led to a revolution of immunologic knowledge and how that has spurred myriad health improvements for countless medical illnesses. In sum, students gain an in-depth understanding of how comparative immunology from a one health perspective facilitates our ability to maintain and improve our health, the health of the other creatures on earth, and the environment itself.