World-Renowned Immunologist To Speak At Boston University School Of Medicine

in Health & Medicine, News Releases, School of Medicine
October 5th, 2007

Contact: Gina M. Digravio, 617-638-8491 | gina.digravio@bmc.org

Boston, MA–Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) will host The Gijs van Seventer Lecture in Immunology on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at noon. The lectureship is in tribute to Gijs van Seventer and to the seminal contributions he made to the international immunology community and to his valued service as a member of the faculty of BUSM and Boston University School of Public Health.

The lecture titled, “Is Negative Regulation the Key to Controlling Autoimmunity?” will be presented by Dr. Jeffrey A. Bluestone from the University of California, San Francisco.

Bluestone holds the A.W. & Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professorship in metabolism and endocrinology, a chair devoted to diabetes research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). As one of the world’s leading experts on why the body’s immune system rejects or tolerates its own tissues, Bluestone has pioneered the development of new therapies to “re-tune” the immune response, reducing harmful autoimmune reactions as well as immune reactions against transplanted tissues and cells.

Bluestone has helped to define the critical importance of T-cell co-stimulation in T-cell activation and has developed a humanized anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody that is currently in clinical trials for transplantation and autoimmune diseases. In addition, his pioneering research efforts have led to the development of CTLA-4lg (Abatacept), a co-stimulation antagonist recently approved for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis and potentially useful for a variety of other immune diseases.

Bluestone is also the director of the Diabetes Center at UCSF, and director of the Immune Tolerance Network, a consortium of more than 70 of the world’s leading scientific researchers and clinical specialists from nearly 40 institutions with a mission to test new therapies designed to bring about immune tolerance in transplantation, autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergic diseases.

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