Welcome to Mini Med School at the Child & Family Research Institute

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1 Glossary

2

3 Welcome to Mini Med School at the Child & Family Research Institute On behalf of the Faculty and Staff at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI), we would like to welcome you to CFRI s 12 th Mini Med School. We are looking forward to offering you an engaging program of activities and insights on cutting edge health research. This semester you will study the importance of the immune system, discover what happens when someone s immune system is missing parts, explore why immunity sometimes goes awry, and understand how we can manipulate our knowledge of immunity to keep people healthier. The curriculum of four sessions was designed by this term s Mini Med School Co-Deans, Dr. Rusung Tan and Dr. Stuart Turvey along with some of the leading researchers and clinicians in the field who are members of this fall s Mini Med School faculty. The Research Institute is pleased to support Dr. Tan and Dr. Turvey, along with all of the researchers and presenters who are donating their time and expertise over the next four weeks. We are again pleased to welcome many high school students into our program this term, and sincerely hope that Mini Med School might inspire these young and curious minds towards a future in health research. In fact, we invite high school students with good attendance records at the Mini Med School to apply for a summer studentship through the program. The studentship is an opportunity to gain research experience during the summer break. Details on this competition will be announced during the series. As health researchers and clinicians, we know that the public is keenly interested in our work and its impact on the social wellbeing of children and families. It is not always easy to find the time and the best ways to convey this information. We hope that the Mini Med School series will be a step in this direction. Enjoy your studies with us! Sincerely, J. M. Friedman, MD, PhD, FAAP, FABMG, FCCMG, FRCPC Acting Executive Director, Child & Family Research Institute

4 Adaptive or acquired immunity: a state of resistance to infections, which is present as a result of prior exposure to the infecting agent. Adjuvants: A substance that enhances the body's immune response to an antigen. Antibacterial agent: A natural or synthetic substance that inhibits the growth of bacteria. Antibiotic: A bacterial or fungal derived substance that inhibits the growth of bacteria. Antibiotic resistance: A type of resistance where bacteria are not susceptible to the killing properties of antibiotics. An example is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Antibody: A protein, usually found in the bloodstream, which aids in protection against infection by attaching to foreign substances (such as microbes) to aid their elimination. Antigen: A molecule recognized by the immune system. Some are tolerated by the body and others are seen as invaders and are attacked by the immune system. Antigenic drift: The ability of viruses to alter their genetic and protein makeup, thereby avoiding detection by the immune system. Antimicrobial agent: A natural or synthetic substance, which inhibits the growth microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Antiviral agent: A natural or synthetic substance, which inhibits the growth of viruses. Attenuated vaccines: A vaccine prepared from live microorganisms or viruses cultured under conditions that lead to the loss of their virulence but retain their ability to induce protective immunity. Autoimmune disease: An overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the body s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. Autoimmunity: The abnormal condition in which the body reacts against constituents of its own tissues. Autoimmunity may result in hypersensitivity and autoimmune disease. Bacteria: A large group of single-celled, prokaryote microorganisms. Bacteremia: An invasion of the bloodstream by bacteria. Basophil: A type of white blood cell (leukocyte) that increases in response to parasitic infections and allergic reactions.

5 B-cells / B-lymphocytes: A type of white blood cell derived from bone marrow that secretes antibodies and has other complex functions within the human immune system. Biologic medications (biologics): Genetically engineered proteins derived from human genes designed to inhibit specific components of the immune system involved in inflammation. Biologics target specific components of the immune system instead of broadly affecting many areas of the immune system. Cell-mediated immune response: an immune response that involves T cells in response to viral, bacterial, fungal or transplanted foreign tissue challenge. Complement system: Protein components in the blood which are responsible for a range of immune system activities including killing bacteria, attracting white blood cells to the site of infection and neutralizing bacteria for ingestion by phagocytes. Cytokines: a large group of low-molecular-weight proteins secreted by various cell types involved in cell-to-cell communication, coordinating antibody and T cell immune interactions and amplifying immune reactivity. Cytokines include colony-stimulating factors, interferons, interleukins, and lymphokines, which are secreted by lymphocytes. Clinical trial: A scientific study to determine the effects of potential medicines in people. Usually conducted in three phases (I, II, III) to determine whether the drug is safe, effective, and better than current therapies, respectively. Dendritic cells: A specialized type of antigen-presenting cell, which aids in the production of antibody and lymphocyte function. Eosinophil: A type of white blood cell (leukocyte) that increases in number with allergy and some parasitic conditions. Epidemic: The condition when a disease attacks many people in the community simultaneously in greater numbers than expected (e.g. SARS). Epidemiology: The branch of medicine that deals with the study of the causes, distribution, and control of disease in populations. Epstein Barr Virus (EBV): A herpes virus that causes infectious mononucleosis and is associated with certain cancers such as Burkitt's lymphoma.

6 Graft versus host disease: A life-threatening complication of bone marrow transplantation in which the donated marrow causes an immune reaction against the recipient's body. Grafts: Organs or tissues for implantation or transplantation. allograft An organ or tissue transplanted from one human to another human. autograft Tissue that is transplanted from one part of a person s body to a different part. isograft Tissue that is transplanted individuals that are genetically identical. Granulocyte: a type of leukocyte characterized by the presence of cytoplasmic granules. There are several types of granulocytes including basophils, eosinophils, and neutrophils. Histocompatibility testing: A test used to determine the compatibility of the antigens between donors and recipients before tissue transplantation. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA): A distinguishing series of proteins that exist on the surface of every white blood cell to help the cells discriminate between friendly cells and foreign matter like bacteria and viruses. HLA matching plays a vital role in allogeneic, or unmatched, bone marrow and stem cell transplants. Humoral immunity: a defense system of the immune system, including antibodies and sensitized white cells that are produced to fight specific pathogens. Hypersensitivity: An abnormal condition characterized by an exaggerated response of the immune system to an antigen. Immune response: A response from the body when an antigen is identified as foreign. It induces the production of antibodies and lymphocytes capable of destroying or making the antigen harmless. Immune system: A system of tissues, organs, and cells that protects the body against pathogenic organisms and other foreign bodies. The principal components of the immune system include bone marrow, thymus, and lymphoid tissues. The system also uses peripheral organs, such as the lymph nodes, spleen, and lymphatic vessels. The immune system protects the body initially by creating local barriers and inflammation, which provide chemical and mechanical defenses through the skin, the mucous membranes, and the conjunctiva. Inflammation then draws leukocytes and neutrophils to the site of injury, where these phagocytes engulf the invading pathogens. If these first-line defenses fail or are inadequate to protect the body, humoral immunity and the cell-mediated immune response are then activated.

7 Immune tolerance: A state of unresponsiveness to a specific antigen or group of antigens to which a person is normally responsive. It is a state in which a T cell no longer responds to an antigen thereby allowing the T cell to "tolerate" the antigen. Immunization: A process or procedure that protects the body against an infectious disease; vaccination is a type of immunization. Immunodeficiency: A condition resulting from a defective immunologic mechanism. Primary immunodeficiency is caused by congenital/inherited defects. Acquired immunodeficiency is caused by a disease that affects the immune system (AIDS). Immunoglobulin: A highly specific molecule of the immune system produced by mature B cells in response to an antigen. Immunoglobulins act as antibodies and are major components of the humoral immune response system. Immunological memory: The capacity of the immune system to respond more rapidly and strongly to subsequent antigenic challenge than to the first exposure. Immunosuppression: Suppression of the immune response by drugs or radiation usually in order to prevent the rejection of grafts and transplants or control autoimmune diseases. Infection: Invasion and multiplication of pathogenic microorganisms in a bodily part or tissue, which may produce subsequent tissue injury and progress to overt disease through a variety of cellular or toxic mechanisms. Infectious agent: An agent capable of producing infection such as a virus or bacteria. Inflammation: A localized protective reaction of tissue to irritation, injury or infection; characterized by pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes loss of function. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Any of several incurable and debilitating diseases of the gastrointestinal tract such as Crohn s disease or ulcerative colitis characterized by inflammation and intestinal obstruction. Innate immunity: Immunity that occurs naturally as a result of a person's genetic constitution or physiology and does not arise from a previous infection or vaccination. The defense mechanisms of skin, white blood cells, macrophages, stomach acid, and chemicals in the bloodstream are all part of innate immunity. Juvenile-idiopathic arthritis: Chronic, inflammatory arthritis characterized by swelling, tenderness, and pain in one or more joints. In children it may lead to impaired growth and development, and limitation of movement.

8 Lymph: A clear, watery, sometimes faintly yellowish fluid derived from body tissues that contains white blood cells and circulates throughout the lymphatic system. Lymph acts to remove bacteria and certain proteins from the tissues, transport fat from the small intestine, and supply mature lymphocytes to the blood. Lymphocytes: White blood cells that produce antibodies and attack harmful cells. There are two categories of lymphocytes: B cells and T cells. Macrophage: A large white blood cell found primarily in the bloodstream and connective tissue that helps the body fight off infections by ingesting diseasecausing organisms and my presenting antigens to activate T cells. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC): A group of genes that code for histocompatibility and are the principal determinants of tissue type and transplant compatibility. Histocompatibility is the condition in which cells of one tissue can survive in the presence of cells from another tissue. A successful graft or transplant requires a high degree of histocompatibility. Mast cells: A type of cell found in connective tissue that releases substances such as heparin and histamine in response to injury or inflammation of bodily tissues. Memory cells: A type of B-cells that are formed following a primary infection. Memory cells are responsible for a stronger immune response during re-infection. Microbes: A microorganism such as a bacterium that causes disease. Monocytes: These are the largest in size of the white blood cells. They develop into macrophages and dendritic cells and both consume foreign material, and present antigens to alert T cells to its presence. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): A radiology technique that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. Natural killer cells: Cells which play a major role in innate immunity that are capable of inducing apotosis in infected cells. Neutrophils: a type of white blood cells (leukocytes) that consume harmful bacteria, fungi, and other foreign materials.

9 Pandemic: a widespread epidemic of a disease. Parasite: An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host. Pathogen: An infectious agent that causes disease to its host. Phagocytosis: The process by which certain cells, in particular some white blood cells, engulf and destroy microorganisms and cellular debris. Retrovirus: A family of RNA viruses that containing a reverse transcriptase enzyme, which allows the viruses genetic information to become part of the genetic information of the host,. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), is a retrovirus. Self versus non-self: The process with which the immune system differentiates between cells in the body (self) and foreign microorganisms (non-self). Immune cells usually do not attack cells that carry distinctive molecules that identify it as self. However when the immune system encounters a non-self microorganism, then it acts to eliminate these nonself intruders. Stem cells: An unspecialized cell found in fetuses, embryos, and some adult body tissues that has the potential to develop into a multitude of specialized cells or divide into other stem cells. Stem cells can potentially be used to replace tissue damaged or destroyed by disease or injury. The use of embryonic stem cells for this purpose is controversial. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): A disease where a person's immune system attacks and injures the bodies own organs and tissues. SLE can affect almost every system of the body. T-cells: A principal type of white blood cell that completes maturation in the thymus and that has various roles in the immune system including the identification of specific foreign antigens in the body and the activation and deactivation of other immune cells. Toll-like receptors: A class of proteins that play a key role in the innate immune system. These receptors recognize certain molecules derived from microbes that have breached physical barriers such as the skin or intestinal mucosa and activate immune cell responses.

10 Translational research: The study that bridges basic laboratory research and the treatment of human patients. For example, researchers might sequence the genomes of patients who have received a certain cancer treatment so they can compare the mutations found in the tumors that responded to the drug to those that were resistant. Type 1 diabetes: Also referred to as diabetes mellitus or juvenile diabetes, a condition in which the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin or cells stop responding to the insulin that is produced; as a result glucose in the blood cannot be absorbed into the cells of the body. Vaccine: An agent prepared to produce active immunity that usually kills microbes, attenuated live microbes, or variant strains of microbes and can induce antibody production without producing disease. Virulence: The power of a microorganism to produce disease. Virus: A non-cellular biological entity that can reproduce only within a host cell. Viruses consist of nucleic acid covered by protein coat; some animal viruses are also surrounded by a lipid envelope. Inside the infected cell, the virus hijacks the cell s own synthesis mechanisms to produce progeny viruses. Definitions have been selected fromhttp://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/.

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