How do mammals sense and respond to infection?

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It's a good question, and one that puzzled many health experts for decades.

But starting in the mid 1980's, a doctor named Dr. Bruce Beutler helped increase modern medicine's understanding of how our body's sense and respond to infection. In doing so, he helped shift the treatment approach for inflammatory conditions impacting millions of patients worldwide.

Beutler discovered an important family of receptors that allow mammals to sense infections when they occur, triggering a powerful inflammatory response. For this work he received the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Subsequently, his research led to new treatments that have dramatically improved modern medicine's approach to rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, psoriasis and other inflammatory conditions.

On Friday, April 20, 2012, Beutler will speak at the 50th Annual J.S. and H.R. Blumethal Memorial Lecture in the Mayo Auditorium, located at 420 Delaware Street Southeast. The event, which is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Medical School's Center for Immunology, is free and open to the public.

About Dr. Bruce Beutler

Beutler is currently a Regental Professor and Director of the Center for Genetics of Host Defense at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He has authored or co-authored more than 300 papers, which have been cited more than 46,000 times.

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