Tang Prize Laureates Reflect on the Breakthroughs Made Possible by Cytokine Research

27-Nov-2021 Intellasia | PR Newswire Asia | 3:00 PM Print This Post

TAIPEI, Nov. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Following the inspiring opening speech, "Future Perspective of Cancer Immunotherapy," delivered by Nobel Prize and Tang Prize laureate Prof. Tasuku Honjo at the 14th Asia Pacific Federation of Pharmacologist Conference (APFP) on November 26, the 2020 Tang Prize Laureate's Lecture for Biopharmaceutical Science, co-organized by the Tang Prize Foundation and The Pharmacological Society in Taiwan, took place at the 14th APFP at 1:30 p.m. (GMT+8) on November 27. Co-hosted by Dr. Wen-Chang Chang, chair of Taipei Medical University's board of directors, and Dr. Yun Yen, chair professor at Taipei Medical University, this special session featured lectures delivered by three winners for the 2020 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science, Drs. Charles Dinarello, Marc Feldmann, and Tadamitsu Kishimoto, providing valuable informaiton on the role cytokines play in inflammation and the COVID-19 disease as well as possible treatments.

The first lecture by Dr. Dinarello, titled "Interleukin-1: The Prime Mediator of Systemic and Local Inflammation," began with his purification of leukocytic pryogen from human white blood cells in 1971. It then took him six years to identify two fever-producing molecules, later named IL-1αand IL-1β. In 1977, the research outcomes were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The second speaker, Dr. Feldmann, shared his views on "Translating Molecular Insights in Autoimmunity into Effective Therapy." The emphasis of the first half of his lecture was on how he discovered that anti-TNF can be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis. During the second half of the talk, he informed us that TNF has two different targets: TNF receptor-1(TNFR1), which drives inflammation, and TNF receptor 2, which does the very opposite. Therefore, they are "in the process of generating tools" and has already blocked TNFR1 without change the function of regulatory T cells. Presenting the third lecture on the topic "Interleukin-6: From Arthritis to CAR-T and COVID-19," Dr. Kishimoto drew the audience's attention to how IL-6 was discovered, why IL-6 is a pleiotropic molecule, and responsible for both antibody production as well as inflammation induction. He also shed light on IL-6's effects on autoimmune diseases and how IL-6 can trigger cytokine storms.

To help the public gain a better understanding of the latest progress made in biomedical sciences, the Tang Prize Foundation will make these three lectures available on its official website (https://www.tang-prize.org) afterwards.


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