The Paradox of the Immune System

The Paradox of the Immune System

Protection, Chronic Inflammation, Autoimmune Disease, Cancer, and Pandemics

1st Edition - July 31, 2022

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  • Author: Louis Catania
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323951876
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323951883

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The Paradox of the Immune System: Protection, Inflammation, Autoimmune Disease and Beyond provides a provocative approach to immunology as a "double-edged sword." While it is our greatest protector, it is also the cause of chronic inflammation that leads to autoimmune disease, cancer and infectious diseases like COVID-19. Sections cover the basic science of immunology and its intimate genetic associations, biomedical hypotheses asserting immunology as the basis of all human diseases, and elaborate on immunology as "the enemy within us." This engaging, original approach to a science so personal provides new and invaluable understanding on the bioscience that controls our lives.

Key Features

  • Written in an expository style that allows for maximum understanding of the complex science presented
  • Presents the unfolding of immunology from a natural (innate) system into an adaptive system leading to chronic inflammation and ultimate disease
  • Provides readers with a unique perspective on health, wellness and disease


Researchers in Immunology, Autoimmunity, Virology and Cancer research. Health related students at all levels, general practitioners, administrator and interested general public who are seeking a general understanding of immunology and its benefits, but more so its related implications in autoimmune disease, cancers and COVID-19

Table of Contents

  • Section 1: Our friendly immune system
    1. The innate (aka "natural") immune system and immunity
    2. The adaptive (aka "acquired") immune response
    3. Genetics and Genomics

    Section 2: The enemy within us Introduction
    4. Chronic inflammation: Enemy #1
    5. Autoimmune diseases: When "self" becomes Enemy #2
    6. Cancer: Immunology’s cruelest enemy and greatest challenge
    7. Immunology: The science of Pandemics, infectious disease, COVID-19 and Beyond

Product details

  • No. of pages: 284
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2022
  • Published: July 31, 2022
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323951876
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323951883

About the Author

Louis Catania

Dr. Louis J. (Lou) Catania is an internationally acclaimed educator, and a recognized expert in eye care, health care, artificial intelligence (AI) and immunology. He has authored over 160 journal articles and 12 textbooks, one of which, “Primary Care of the Anterior Segment” received the Baron's Five Star (highest) rating for a medical textbook. He is currently a lecturer with the University of North Florida, Department of Continuing Education, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; and a visiting Professor at Salus University, College of Health Sciences. During his 52-year clinical and academic career he has taught and lectured extensively worldwide. Dr. Catania’s career in healthcare started as an optometric physician with an interest in corneal immunology. That interest grew into postdoctoral pursuits over the past 35 years with studies in virology, immunology and public health (University of Rochester, UPenn, Stanford Continuing Studies and MIT OpenCourseWare). He has dedicated himself to research, teaching, and writing with his 3 most recent books on AI in healthcare, AI in immunology, and an inspired new text on the mercurial nature of the human immune system (“The Paradox of the Immune System”). Dr. Catania’s professional accomplishments in eyecare, healthcare and immunology have produced countless honors and awards including 2 Honorary Doctor of Science degrees; Distinguished Faculty Scholar at 3 academic institutions; induction into the National Optometry Hall of Fame; and innumerable domestic and international keynote and commencement addresses. In his personal time, Dr. Catania is an active volunteer with the National Park Service; a sea turtle patrol monitor in his beach community; and involved in multiple environmental, humanitarian and human welfare agencies.

Affiliations and Expertise

Salus University, College of Health Sciences; University of North Florida, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

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  • Mary Z. Sun Nov 13 2022

    Biologist’s review of Catania’s Paradox of the Immune System

    Curiosity drove me to read Louis J Catania”s The Paradox of the Immune System. With the appearance of Covid-19, it is impossible to escape hearing about the immune system, immunology, immunotherapy or its co-conspirator inflammation. I wanted a better understanding of the rapidly changing field of immunology and Catania’s book provided this. Step by step, starting with basic vocabulary and explanation, Dr Catania builds a stable base to then move deeper into more advanced immunological cell types, feedback loops, and biological uncertainties. He cements the idea that scientific research is invaluable but the unique reactions of an individual within their personal genetic and environmental milieu must always be kept in mind. The reality of biology is that no two living creatures are exactly the same. This is what makes the study of life so absolutely fascinating! Catania uses humor to soften the hard edges of science. He opens a door into an exciting future for immunological research and application. The book provides plenty of examples, images and references to help grasp concepts, so if the reader starts to drown in the ocean of information, there is a life ring to grab onto. Understanding the immune system and the terminology used by the medical profession can help banish the dark shadow of fear should a loved one receive a disturbing diagnosis or need a novel scientific approach to live with or cure such a diagnosis. It isn’t an easy book but Life has never been easy!