#### Milestone Year

### 1985

#### A greater understanding of the immune system

The body's immune system comprises a very large number of different
elements that carry out defined roles which influence each other, as well
as their immediate environment, in a highly complex system of interactions.
In order to understand, and even predict, the way the immune system works,
Weizmann Institute mathematicians and immunologists developed several
mathematical models that describe the action of a number of the immune
system's components. In several cases the mathematicians created new
concepts and developed new ways of looking at the action of the immune
system. These concepts and perceptions influenced the immunologists'
previously accepted ways of thinking. One experiment confirmed a prediction
by a mathematical model, even though the prediction was not in accordance
with a "common sense" view of immunology.

This research is likely to lead to the development of mathematical tools
for biomedical and immunological research, as well as help in the
development of drugs which affect the immune system, such as antiallergenic
drugs, or treatments for autoimmune diseases (in which the immune system
mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues).