Immunology is the branch of medicine that deals with disease immunity, and immunologists are research scientists or practicing specialists who study, analyze and/or treat disease processes that involve the immune system. The immune system is the system within an organism that is responsible for protecting the organism from infection by foreign matter. Immunologists particularly are interested in diseases that affect natural immunity. These include such diseases as allergies, sinus inflations, pneumonia and abscesses that occur repeatedly even with treatment.
One of the most important aspects of immunology is research. Because many immunologists research and analyze the immune system, new findings and treatments can be discovered for persistent illnesses. Immunologists in this branch of immunology work in laboratories that enable them to study and test interactions of chemicals, cells and genes in the body to better understand what is necessary for an immune system to function properly.
This is the more commonly known branch of immunology. Pediatric immunologists, also known as pediatric allergists, find and treat problems associated with allergies and immune system malfunctions. Pediatric immunologists specialize in children ranging from infants to teenagers. They typically work in children’s hospitals, community hospitals, private offices and university medical centers.
Physicians and pediatricians specializing in immunology are required to have a medical degree and several more years of training, both in residency and in specialized immunology/allergy programs.
College Teaching and Research
Many immunologists find their place teaching as opposed to practicing. While this branch of immunology still provides a strong participation in research, it requires a personality suited to instructing as well as guiding.