Immunology is very important branch of the medical and biological sciences that deals with the study of physical, chemical and physiological features, and components of the immune system. The word immunity was derived from the Latin word “immunis” that means “exempt”. The main aim of immunology is to preserve the health of humans and animals by preventing various diseases.
The immune system protects us from diseases from external agents through various lines of defence. However, if the immune system is not functioning properly, it can result in disease even without any external agents, such as autoimmune diseases, allergy and cancer. Latest researches indicate that immune responses contribute to the development of many common disorders not traditionally viewed as immunologic, including metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Our knowledge of immunology has grown noticeably since Jenner pioneered the smallpox vaccines in the 18th Century due to which he is often called the “father of immunology”. The field of Immunology has developed by leaps and bounds over the last 50 years through the incorporation of modern technologies and concepts in cell and molecular biology, genetics, genomics, and proteomics. Persistent work by numerous scientists all over the world has resulted into vast body of knowledge on various mechanisms of immunity.
Immunology intersects with multiple areas of biomedical science from infectious disease and vaccination to the management and treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, allergies, and cancer. Immunology is also fundamental to the life sciences industry; the discipline is core to the development of modern antibody therapies, cellular therapies, small molecule drugs, vaccines and therapeutic bio molecules.
Immunology is an incredibly exciting and broad area of the biomedical sciences. There are many different opportunities that one can avail if decides to enter the career path of an allergist and immunologist. These opportunities include a varied range of organisations across different areas in science and medicine like hospitals, pharmaceutical/biotech industries to universities and institutes like NII. One of the most important aspects of immunology is research. Because so many immunologists research and analyse the immune system, new findings and treatments can be discovered.
To study immunology today is to be on the cutting edge of research. The microbial world is continuously evolving and producing new infectious threats. The field of immunology is an effective tool to counter these threats and help create a safer and healthier world.
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