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Women in STEM

Your questions answered

  • Question from Mia-Rose

    Hi Amy, Could you please tell me more about your discovery on how we can use our immune system to fight sepsis and to what extent and why you chose to research sepsis. Do you have a passion to fix it or is it something else? Thank you very much Mia-Rose.

    Answer from Amy:

    Hi! I’ve always been interested in bacteria and the human immune system. As we know, your immune system is incredibly important for keeping us safe from infections. In normal conditions, your immune cells sense bacteria and destroy them, thus eliminating the threat to your health. Neat, right? However, in some cases, your immune cells go a little haywire and their attack on the invading bacteria gets out of control. This causes massive damage to your own tissues and organs, resulting in a condition we call septic shock. In most cases, this leads to organ failure and death. This is all very counter intuitive: how can something that’s supposed to protect us end up hurting us the most? Mysteries about the immune system, such as septic shock arising from sepsis, are what attracted me to this project. I would love to be able to control the immune system one day through some sort of drug or therapy, and help sepsis patients.