Immunology, the science that changes your health

Immunology, the science that changes your health
Immunology, the science that changes your health

On the occasion of World Immunology Day on April 29, dive into the heart of disruptive science with the Vice President of Research and Development at Sanofi in France, Jacques Volckmann.

“Immunology is a sophisticated science that studies our body’s defenses,” explains Jacques Volckmann. “The immune system acts as a real control tower of the body to protect us from certain external attacks such as viruses or bacteria. Immunology will attempt to understand how our body reacts to protect us through the mobilization of a complex system of immune cells. »

Our immune system is involved in numerous mechanisms at work in our body. “It maintains a delicate balance. An imbalance can indeed lead, for example, to increased inflammatory reactions. This will cause various diseases such as atopic dermatitis, asthma and possible others… One of the objectives will be to try to restore the balance to prevent or even treat dysfunctions of this immune system. »

Another approach to immunology is that linked to vaccines. “These help prepare our immune system to effectively recognize and fight many infectious diseases. Thanks to the vaccine, some have completely disappeared. Additionally, in fields like immunology applied to oncology, it is sometimes necessary to wake up the immune system so that it recognizes cancer cells as abnormal and eliminates them. »

Autoimmune diseases, when the system goes wrong

If the immune system fights against external agents, it sometimes happens that this beautiful mechanism goes wrong. So much so that it attacks the normal constituents of our body and causes so-called autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis… “We have made spectacular progress in understanding autoimmunity . This is the case with type 1 diabetes, where pancreatic cells are often attacked from birth. We have succeeded in developing treatments to delay this destruction and prevent the onset of diabetes. »

Immunology, or taking into account overall health

“Our main objective is to have a positive impact on the lives of patients and on society in general,” says Jacques Volckmann. “For example, preventive treatment against the bronchiolitis virus in infants helps reduce complications and therefore the number of hospitalizations. This has a positive impact on the entire healthcare system and on parents’ stress. Likewise, recent therapies against atopic dermatitis offer an effective alternative to corticosteroids, thus improving the quality of life of patients. We are aware of our social responsibility towards patients and those around them. Most of these illnesses lead to hospital or even emergency rooms. They sometimes prevent them from working and even for the youngest, from attending normal schooling.”

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