4 O'Clock Forum: Chemistry lessons I learned from worms to control inflammation
Special 4 O'Clock Forum seminar by Dr. Fernando Lopes, Assistant Professor, Institute of Parasitology and Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Everyone is welcome to attend
The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are characterized by relapsing symptoms of watery or bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and weight loss, which often is devastating for the patients and their families. Developing nations have a lower incidence of IBD compared to developed nations, whereas Canada ranks as one of the nations with the highest incidences worldwide. Different hypothesis to account for this observation have been proposed. Among these is the suggestion that the absence of gastrointestinal parasites in Canadians may be a contributing factor for the higher prevalence. High levels of parasitic helminth infections in developing nations, potentially provides an evolutionary advantage for protection against chronic inflammatory diseases. Dr Lopes's research seeks to elucidate signalling cascades or pathways that are controlled by molecules released by helminths in modulating inflammation. Ultimately, this will provide novel pharmaceutical solutions to mimic the advantages that parasitic infections provide.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Dr. Lopes is an assistant professor in the Institute of Parasitology and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University. His research focuses on Immuno-metabolism and Host-Parasite Interaction modulating Inflammatory Responses, targeting to develop novel treatments for inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.