I'm taking a few courses here at Curtin, but I have got to say that my new absolute favorite is Immunology. I honestly didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as I do, but it's incredible.
I tried to learn the immune system for years - and to be honest, I'm still fuzzy on the basics of it. That isn't stopping me from learning advanced therapies and diagnostic techniques. I've already felt like I've completed the course - because there is so much to learn - but I'm excited that more is going to come (like flow cytometry, HIV, etc).
Speaking of HIV, I did a project on it last week (and have to go watch other projects on it this week) but I just wanted to say something regarding it:
There are extremely potent immunotherapies regarding the treatment of an HIV-1 infection... Dear scientific community - let's push these into phase 1 clinical trials - we can save some lives.
I definitely do not know all the facts, but I'm really excited to learn them. I think I'm going to spend most of this weekend working on immunological research, and reviewing the course material so I can kick this course's butt. My dream would be to do my undergraduate thesis in diagnostic immunology, but I don't think Brock offers any professor who studies the subject - nor do I think I can do my thesis while I'm abroad - I'm going to have to ask around and find out.
Here's a picture of my most recent immuno-fixation electrophoresis - which for the non scientific part of my audience (basically 100%) is an immunology test for a patient's blood.
I did this one all by myself - and you can tell it's me, because you can see anti-M-antibodies spilling into the alpha lane. This patient has a monoclonal spike with reduced polyclonal production in the ELP lane, which can be identified as a large production of the IgM Kappa antibody.
This means that the patient had a cancerous B cell that differentiated into a plasma cell, that just went nuts and produced more, and more, and produced so many antibodies that other antibodies were shut down; this patient is extremely immunocompromised.
Okay, I've got to study now - I think I want to become an immunologist.