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Event Detail (Archived)

Autoimmunity, Immune Tolerance Checkpoints, and Somatic Mutations

The 31st Annual Henry Kunkel Society Meeting

  • This event already took place in April 2024
  • Caspary Auditorium

Event Details

Friday Lecture Series
Christopher C. Goodnow, Ph.D., professor, Cellular Genomics Futures Institute, University of NSW Sydney; The Bill and Patricia Ritchie Foundation Chair, Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Speaker bio(s)

Henry Kunkel was one of the first to reveal the immune system sometimes makes the catastrophic mistake of synthesizing antibodies against our body’s self components, defining autoimmune diseases now known collectively to affect more than 10% of people at some point in their lives. Autoimmune diseases pose two central questions: how does our immune system normally learn to distinguish self from non-self to avoid making autoantibodies, and how does that fail in autoimmune diseases?

Max Planck famously said that science progresses one funeral at a time. The story Dr. Goodnow will tell is how medical scientists have not waited quite so long for progress in autoimmune disease: births of new technologies especially from molecular genetics have changed our minds and revealed answers we could never have imagined.

He will illustrate with personal stories from published and unpublished work by him and his collaborators in three autoimmune diseases: the unexpected role of the thymus revealed by autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome; lymphoma driver somatic mutations in innate lymphoid cells/progenitor T cells and mature T cells in the intestine of refractory celiac disease; and a perfect storm of B cell somatic mutagenesis precipitated by hepatitis c virus leading to Kunkel’s rheumatoid factors in cryoglobulinemic vasculitis. 

Christopher C. Goodnow holds The Bill and Patricia Ritchie Foundation Chair as Head of the Immunogenomics Laboratory at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and is Professor in the Cellular Genomics Futures Institute and School of Biomedical Sciences at UNSW Sydney. Chris trained in veterinary medicine and surgery, immunochemistry, and immunology at Sydney University and in DNA technology and molecular immunology at Stanford University. Previous faculty positions were HHMI Investigator at Stanford University, and founding Director of the Australian Phenomics Facility at the Australian National University. Chris’ team discovered the immune tolerance checkpoints controlling antibody production, which prevent autoimmune disease and target antibodies against foreign infections. Chris’ awards include: American Association of Immunologists Distinguished Fellow, Pharmingen Award, and Herzenberg Award; William E. Paul Award; past President and Burnet Orator of the Australian & New Zealand Society for Immunology; Gottschalk Medal; Health Minister’s Prize; Centenary Medal; Ramaciotti Medal; GSK Award for Research Excellence. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

FLS lectures will take place in Caspary Auditorium and virtually via Zoom. We recommend virtual participants log out of VPN prior to logging in to Zoom. Please do not share the link or post on social media. This talk will be recorded for the RU community. 

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