Launch of Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation

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A new institute at The University of Manchester will carry out ground-breaking research by working with experts from across science to tackle some of medical science’s biggest problems.

The Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation will bring together some of the world’s leading scientists in the field of Infection, Immunity, Inflammation and Repair.

It will carry out fundamental research into all aspects of immunology including dysregulation of the immune system in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases, and will also research their immunities increasing importance in mental health, cardiovascular disease, obesity, pregnancy, infection outcome, cancer and healthy ageing.

The Institute launched on October 18 at the Science and Industry Museum at an all-day event.

Directed by Professor Tracy Hussell it is named after Lydia Ernestine Becker, known for her pioneering work in the field of women’s suffrage. Becker was also a celebrated natural scientist who believed strongly women are intellectually equal to men, deserve the same opportunities and promoted their inclusion in science.

Professor Hussell said: “Inflammation is now recognised as an important component of most major diseases, and may highlight common mechanisms amongst them.

“The Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation is uniquely placed to address this: we shall be bringing together a vast array of expertise to tackle issues such as aging and comorbidity.

“We shall look into all aspects of immunology and inflammation in collaboration with clinicians and social sciences.

“It’s a brand new approach to understanding disease which we hope will spur scientists, doctors and educators into thinking very differently about this medicine and biology.”

She added: “By the age of 65, for example, at least half of us will be suffering from two or more long-term diseases, each with individual diagnosis and treatment.

“So tackling combinations of disease is an urgent goal for medical research. Chronic conditions rarely arise without obesity, mental and physical health problems, chronic pain, frailty and/or substance and alcohol misuse and so they shouldn’t be taught or researched in isolation.”

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