Volume 2, No. 3 
July 1998

Lucia M. Singer was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1943. She received her B.Sc. in Biological Sciences and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at the Biomedical Sciences Institute of the University of São Paulo (ICB-USP). She taught Immunology and was a researcher at the ICB-USP for 26 years before pursuing a new career as a freelance biomedical translator.
    Her résumé includes 33 publications in Brazilian, North American, Mexican, Dutch and British journals, most of them on Immunology of Infectious Diseases, four chapters in books (three in Brazil and one in the U.S.A.) on Basic Immunology and on Immunology of Fungal Diseases, in addition to 130 communications at Brazilian and International conferences and symposia. She also studied Statistics and was a consultant in Biostatistics, supporting the data analysis of an endless number of researchers in different fields of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
   After her retirement from the University of São Paulo in 1996, she started a new career as a full-time freelance scientific translator. Her exposure to various fields of medicine and biology and the need to read and write in English, Portuguese and Spanish during her years in Academia have been a valuable resource in her career as a freelance translator.

Dr. Singer can be reached at lsinger@icb.usp.br or Lsinger@originet.com.br


Happy Birthday, TJ!
Index 1997-98
  Translator Profiles
It Needn’t All Be Boring...
by Derry Cook-Radmore
Dr. William I. Bertsche
by Gabe Bokor
  Translator Education
Considerations on Teaching Translation
by Denis Sánchez Calderaro
  Translation Theory
Translation As a Communication Process
by Frédéric Houbert
  Art & Entertainment
Translator, Adapter, Screenwriter
by Robert Paquin, Ph.D.
 Biomedical Translation
Immunology—a Brief Overview
by Lúcia M. Singer, Ph.D.
 Business Translations
The Language of Business Entities in Brazil
by Danilo Nogueira
  Science & Technology
A Translator’s Guide to Organic Chemical Nomenclature XII
by Chester E. Claff, Jr., Ph.D.
  Caught in the Web
Web Surfing for Fun and Profit
by Cathy Flick, Ph.D.
Translators’ On-Line Resources
by Gabe Bokor
Translators’ Events
Letters to the Editor
Call for Papers

Translation Journal
Medical Translations

Immunology—A Brief Overview
Part 1

by Lúcia Mary Singer, Ph.D.

This series of articles comes with an English-Brazilian Portuguese downloadable glossary of terms used in immunology with the English terms explained (in English) and translated into Portuguese. You can download it now. The file size is 160K and the format is RTF (opens in most word processors).
In its classical meaning, immunology is the study of immunity, the processes by which organisms defend themselves against infection. When this science took root about one century ago, it attracted wide attention among the biomedical community because of the promise it offered for relief from epidemic infectious diseases. More recently, immune responses became recognized as also being important in processes which have to do with recognition phenomena, self-characterization, growth and development, heredity, aging, cancer, transplantation, thus being a fundamental part of almost all human medical and veterinary specialties. Immunological methods and reagents are applied to the diagnosis, prevention and therapy of many diseases and provide tools and concepts for probing mechanisms of diverse diseases.
   The virtually exponential growth of this science is generally ascribed to the development of relatively new techniques such as: immunofluorescence, radioimmunoassay, electronic and scanning microscopy, production of monoclonal antibodies, and genetic engineering tools.
   Many biological fields (such as genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, endocrinology, pharmacology, histology, parasitology and virology, among others) are strongly linked to Immunology. Also, the multiple sources of interest have led to separating Immunology into sub-specialties, such as: immunity to infectious diseases, serology, immunochemistry, allergy, immunogenetics, cellular immunology, neuroimmunology, immunopharmacology, tumor immunology, transplantation immunity, immunodeficiency diseases, immunotherapy, etc.
   Immunology has its roots in the defense against infectious disease, followed by the development of vaccines, organ transplantation, immune responses to malignancy, and a variety of immunotherapies. Modern research in immunology draws on recent advances in cellular and molecular biology, protein chemistry, and virology to determine how the components of the immune system function. In turn, the study of cells of the immune system has contributed to our understanding of protein structure, eucaryotic gene organization and regulation, and intracellular protein transport and assembly. With this expansion, immunology has grown beyond its original meaning, and according to some scientists, immunobiology has become a preferable term for this expanding field.
   The development of this science can be appraised by the huge volume of articles on this subject: there are more than 900 journals that publish more than 8000 articles per year on Immunology and many Nobel prizes for Physiology and Medicine were awarded to studies on Immunology and related sciences, including the last one, in 1997! The current flood of literature on Immunology and on sciences that apply immunological tools and/or concepts, and the huge number of publications that use this terminology, made me construct a glossary for translators who are often stuck when they find “immunological jargon” either in scientific/medical texts or in material for the layperson.
   The glossary that can be downloaded from this page is far from complete, and it is almost impossible to construct an exhaustive and updated glossary in this endlessly changing subject. This is the first installment of a three-part series to be published in this and the next two issues of the Translation Journal.

   I am grateful to my old friend Gabe Bokor for the opportunity to publish this glossary in the Translation Journal.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for further topics in the field of immunology nomenclature, please contact the author at: lsinger@icb.usp.br or at Lsinger@originet.com.br.

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