The Childhood Diseases Theme at BC Children’s Hospital presents:

Phagocytes in pancreatic islets have a major role in islet development and inflammation

Speaker: Dr. Emil R. Unanue, MD
Paul and Ellen Lacy Professor, Department of Pathology & Immunology,
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

By the end of this seminar participants will be able to describe:

  • The features of macrophages that normally inhabit the islet of Langerhans in mice and humans
  • The reciprocal interactions and symbiosis between macrophages and beta cells
  • The early stages of autoimmune diabetes and the role of phagocytes 

Schedule -

The seminar is scheduled for Thursday, April 13, 9:30am - 10:30am at the Chan Centre for Family Health Education (Map), BC Children's Hospital. 

Participate -

Everyone is welcome to attend but registration is strongly encouraged - click here to RSVP.  Access is available remotely via Telehealth videoconferencing, please rsvp at least one week prior to the event. 

Discovery Talks is accredited as a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. CME credits are available for all participants.

About the Speaker -

Dr. Emil Unanue studied medicine at the University of Havana, Cuba.
He did post doctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute and then in London at the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill. It was in London that his research interests developed in antigen processing and presentation. His work in this area continued during his time at Harvard Medical School where he was Professor of Immunopathology; and at Washington University School of Medicine where he headed the Department of Pathology and Immunology for 21 years. 

Unanue’s distinctions include the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the Gairdner award, and membership in the National Academy of Sciences.

Unanue's major research examines the cellular and biochemical basis of recognition of protein antigens by the immune system. It includes examining the presenting cells, antigen processing and the role of histocompatibility molecules. In the early 1980s his group made two fundamental observations, that protein antigens are processed by antigen presenting cells and that MHC molecules are peptide binding molecules. These findings have allowed for the precise molecular understanding of T cell recognition and have opened the field for a rational analysis of immunogenicity. Current investigations are focused on examining the presentation of self proteins in autoimmune diabetes: the selection of immunogenic peptides in islets of Langerhans, their recognition by T cells and the role of macrophages and dendritic cells.


Discovery Talks are the research community's international seminar series. Featuring influential research leaders from around the globe, the series promotes knowledge exchange, fosters international collaborations and showcases the latest innovations in research.

Video recordings of these lectures are available online: Video Library. These may be useful for classes, or of interest to those who are unable to attend events. 

For the latest information on program developments contact reseduc@bcchr.ca to be added to the mailing list.