William E. Paul (Author)


The immune system has incredible power to protect us from the ravages of infection. Boosted by vaccines, it can protect us from diseases such as measles. However, the power of the immune system is a double-edged sword: an overactive immune system can wreak havoc, destroying normal tissue and causing diseases such as type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. The consequences of an impaired immune system, on the other hand, are all too evident in the agonies of AIDS.

Packed with illustrations, stories from Dr. William E. Paul's distinguished career, and fascinating accounts of scientific discovery, Immunity presents the three laws of the human immune system--universality, tolerance, and appropriateness--and explains how the system both protects and harms us. From the tale of how smallpox was overcome and the lessons of the Ebola epidemic to the hope that the immune system can be used to treat or prevent cancer, Dr. Paul argues that we must take advantage of cutting-edge technologies and promising new tools in immunological research.

Product Details

Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date
January 02, 2018
6.0 X 0.6 X 8.9 inches | 0.9 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

William E. Paul, MD (1936-2015) was the chief of the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. He received his medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. A past president of the American Association of Immunologists and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, he was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


"An excellent overview of what science knows about immunology today."

--Science-Based Medicine

"Written by a prominent researcher and scholar who not only followed the history of immunology but also participated in its creation, Immunity could be considered as an excellent summary of the classical, pre-systemic, immunological era."


"It is well written, informative and gives detailed descriptions even down to defining platelets--sometimes we make the assumption that individuals know these details but the author has pre-empted this and provided ample explanations, which in essence will widen his audience... I would recommend this book to students, healthcare assistants, clinicians, and nurse specialists working within all areas."

--Nursing Times