Explore Life Sciences Ep.3: Voices in Science – Christine Loscher Discusses Covid 19 & Her Career in Immunology

We’re glad to be back for another episode of our Explore Life Sciences Podcast!

Thanks to everyone who’s listening to our episodes each month, we are thrilled with the response and we look forward to producing many more episodes in the weeks and months to come! If this is your first time tuning in or discovering our podcast – Explore Life Sciences is a podcast about the Irish and Global Life Sciences industries and the people who are leading change. Each month we talk to a different guest throughout the various sectors of Life Sciences on topical conversations and how they ended up where they are today.

Meet Our Guest: Christine Loscher

Christine Loscher is a Professor of Immunology at Dublin City University in Ireland. In 2020 she established the DCU Covid-19 Research and Innovation Hub with a key focus on solving the challenges facing society as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Her research is focused on discovering new anti-inflammatory/anti-allergic compounds for the pharma and food sector and amount other things she is a Principal Investigator in the Food for Health Ireland Technology Centre. She was also previously named in Silicon Republics top 100 Women in STEM.

Today we chat about her work with the Covid-19 Pandemic, her career journey and how she found her calling as an immunologist and what else besides Covid-19 is concerning for immunologists right now.

How is everything going right now? Is this the holy grail (Covid-19) and what they have prepared you for?

No! No! There is no way when I was doing my PhD in immunology did I ever think that anyone would take immunology as seriously as I did. I always say to my students that immunology is so important because if your immune system doesn’t work well and keep you safe, well, you know, you’re not going to stay alive. Everyone thinks your heart is really important, and your brain but actually your immune system is your danger signal detector.

Mari speaks about the Lockdown

I got huge backlash in July for saying I don’t think we should open yet, because that it was specifically focused on 60 something year olds who didn’t have their second shots, and unless you had a second shot you had very little protection. I feel that slight delay is the reason our case numbers and hospital numbers are as good. I know it’s not good, but it’s a lot better than where we would’ve been. So I think the slowly but surely… If we do this right, we wont go back into lock down.

What are your thoughts regarding the future?

I think we are facing into a future where the likelihood is we are going to keep an eye on levels of immunity in the population and boost if required. It may be boosting in vulnerable cohorts. The other thing we need to do is to keep an eye on is the emergence of a new variant and what that might mean for the vaccination programme.

Listen to our first episode “The Science of Business” with Kevin Walsh here.

Listen to the full podcast now: