The human genome contains about 20,000 genes, many of which produce proteins important for fighting off infections. Humans, and vertebrates in general, produce hundreds of proteins designed to detect pathogens and activate an immune response. We will discuss how animal immune genes and pathogens co-evolve in the struggle to survive. We’ll also learn about a variety of strategies animals have taken on in order to survive the next unknown disease.
About our speaker
Dr. Jeff Yoder is an Associate Professor of Innate Immunology in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at NC State University. Yoder studies the evolution of the immune system and is especially interested in how different species develop novel mechanisms for recognizing pathogens. Much of his work has focused on the zebrafish as a genetic model, but he is now leading a project studying the diversity of immune genes across all bony fish (which includes approximately 30,000 species!).