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Prof Andrew Bowie - Public Lecture Award 2017

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

The ISI are pleased to announce that Professor Andrew Bowie (School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, TCD) was the 2017 recipient of their Public Lecture Award, which was hosted on 27th April in association with the Irish Times.

Prof. Bowie presented his public lecture entitled: “Viruses and us: playing host to the enemy”

In his lecture, Prof. Bowie discussed the fascinating relationship between us and viruses – how viruses invade our cells, how our cells are equipped to detect and thwart such an invasion, and why the same cellular anti-viral detectors that protect us from these invaders can also cause damage, chronic inflammation and autoimmunity.

This public lecture took place in the Tercentenary Hall, Floor 2, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, 152-160 Pearse Street, Dublin 2 at 7.00 pm on Thursday, 27th April 2017. This lecture also marked part of the ISI’s contribution to the European Day of Immunology 2017


Professor Andrew G. Bowie, PhD, FTCD, MRIA

School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin.


Andrew Bowie obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin in 1997. He was elected a Fellow of TCD in 2008, and a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2014. He is currently Head of Immunology in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, TCD.

His main research interests are pathogen detection and innate immune signalling, and how such detection processes are subverted by viruses. Work in his laboratory has shed light on how pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) recognise pathogens, leading to the induction of interferons and cytokines, which control infection locally as well as coordinating the adaptive immune response. He also investigates how PRRs and inflammasomes drive inflammation through the recognition of nucleic acid such as mislocalised self-DNA.

His seminal discoveries in these areas have redefined our understanding of how viruses engage with human cells, and he has regularly published research papers, opinion pieces and reviews in leading international journals including Nature Immunology, Immunity, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, Nature Reviews Immunology and The EMBO Journal. In particular, he is interested in how the immune system responds to foreign and self DNA, and discovered one of the key cellular sensors of DNA in 2010, which has subsequently been shown to be critical in understanding viral pathogenesis of diverse viruses including HIV and herpes viruses.

He has recently identified novel roles for a number of innate immune proteins in regulating inflammation via cytokine modulation, and is currently exploring their mechanisms of action.


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