What is IMMUNOCHEMISTRY?
Immunochemistry is the study of characteristics, interactions and functions of chemical components in the immune system. Cells have small molecules on their surface called ‘antigens’ that can be recognized by certain immune cells. Studying these interactions help researchers learn more about these antigens and the resulting immune response. Tumour cells can have specific antigens, and immunochemists can look for these. The presence of these antigens can tell physicians many things, including the type of cancer and where in the body it came from. By doing this, they can diagnose the stage and grade of the cancer, determine whether it is benign or malignant.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE AN IMMUNOCHEMIST?
Immunochemistry is the study of characteristics, interactions and functions of chemical To be an immunochemist you must have a strong background in immunology, chemistry and other basic medical sciences. They often hold an undergraduate and even a graduate degree in immunology, molecular biology or chemistry. An immunochemist works in a laboratory analyzing immune cells and tissue samples and must be skilled in immunological techniques. Immunochemists stay up to date with new developments across the fields of immunology and biochemistry.
WHERE IS THE FIELD OF IMMUNOCHEMISTRY HEADING?
Immunochemistry is a rapidly evolving field, which is beginning to provide new therapies and diagnostic tools for diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders and infectious diseases. In the area of cancer research, studying immunochemistry could offer many new tools to help physicians decide which of their patients would benefit most from new immunotherapies. By improving the existing considerations in making a prognosis, these findings could increase the number of people who can receive these treatments effectively. The first of these screening tools have already allowed for the development of better preventative measures against tumour development, showing immunochemistry research has been foundational in the early days of cancer immunotherapy.