Sep 25, 2020
Gareth Brady specializes in how
viruses and immune systems play hide and seek, evading or
triggering various responses like inflammation. In this discussion,
he adds precise and evocative information to Richard's virus
He answers with an intriguing intensity, offering listeners key insights into the following:
Gareth Brady is the Ussher
Assistant Professor in Clinical Medicine at Trinity College in
Dublin. His current work is in the Translational Inflammation
Research Group investigating viral structure and functions for
inhibiting pathways to the immune response. He touches on multiple
complex topics with ease, from viral entry mechanisms to viral
spread and virus adaptation.
He begins with an intriguing description of a particular virus he studies, which is a virus in the pox family tree called, Molluscum Contagiosum Virus (MCV). It's only able to infect humans and doesn't cause disease—this indicates it is very good at getting around the immune system. If he can understand how it evades the immune system, it may lead to valuable understandings of how to inhibit damaging inflammation.
He also explains
virus behavior in such a way that listeners will gain solid
insight into innate and adaptive immunity processes and the long
chain of events that trigger symptoms we eventually experience from
inflammation to fever. He then applies this explanation to how
different viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), cause lung
swelling that is so detrimental. He is able to take this lesson and
expand listeners' understanding of how this process applies to
virus latency, incubation periods, and coinfection.
He describes the virus and immune response process as a cold war in an arms race. He comments that it's evolved to be complex because viruses have evolved to be more and more successful. In turn, viruses have forced humans to evolve multiple sensors to detect them. Furthermore, viruses have evolved multiple ways to get around these sensors and so one. Sit back and listen to this incredible journey through virus and human coevolution.