INFO needed on immunology, please

Belglobul belglobul at
Wed Mar 22 23:33:46 EST 1995


Your question is almost as complicated as to know what is life, however I
will try to give you my personnal point of view.
First, let me intriduce myself. I made a PhD. in Biology in Belgium and to
get it I worked 4 years in a laboratory of immunology. Thus, I can say I
am an immnulogist. Presently, I work as a postdoc (junior scientist) in a
private research center in Palo Alto, California.
Immunology is a link between medicine and fundamental biology. To develop
new drugs, new vaccine, new transplantation techniques, physician and
surgeon have to know how the human body works. More precisely, I guess you
know that most animal, including simple forms as sponge, has weapons to
fight against infection by parasites, virus and bacteria. In mammal, and
so in human, this system is extremely sophsticated and deals extremelly
well with most of agression of our environment. However, this system is
not always perfect. Sometime it fails to react to a specific microbe or
diregulation(HIV, tumor, Lepra, ..), sometime it reacts out of control
(Rhumatoid arthritis, Multiple sclerosis...) and sometime its reaction
causes problems in medical therapy ( Graft rejection). For more than 50
years, modern immunology has progressed greatly but a lot remains to be
discovered. The immune system is so complicated that we are far to
understand how it works and how we could control it. Thus, I would say
that immunology is a great field where one can find a lot of satisfaction
especially if the idea of helping man kind to live better is important.
The extend of immunlogy is almost impossible to define but it is
essentially research and/or development.
As far as I know, immunology is not really a formation by itself even if
the knowledge to learn is specific. I personaly work with  Vet, medical
doctor, Dr. in biology, and chemistry. I also know people with computer
training working in immunology, so it gives you the extend of the way to
approach this particular field of science.
I think it gives you an overview of what could be immunology and I hope
that you will find what immunology really means to you.

Best regards
       Thierry Sornasse
       Elm: Belglobul at      or   Sornasse at

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