A Center for Infection & Immunity is being launched under the leadership of Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, professor of epidemiology and of dermatology, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
The new center will study infections and immunity in a longitudinal manner to gather insight from changes over time in host response and symptoms; selectively target distinct phenotypes within given diseases to understand immune pathogenesis; and use machine learning tools to uncover causes and mechanisms of conditions that include post-infection acute and chronic diseases, autoimmunity, and aging-related diseases.
The center will have an ambitious goal: to produce better diagnoses, treatments, and ultimately cures for these diseases. It will also work toward vaccine development, based on Iwasaki’s pioneering work showing that vaccines directed toward the mucosa might provide better protection than systemic vaccination.
Iwasaki plans to form a collaborative and diverse network of investigators, establish biorepositories for longitudinal patient samples, and take advantage of other advanced resources and tools in the areas of immunology, virology, microbiology, genetics, and computation, and integrate clinical, interventional, and epidemiological approaches.