Immunology and Inflammation

Dramatic advances in immunology have led to the control of many chronic inflammatory processes with a paradigm-shifting impact on cancer immunotherapy. Basic scientific discoveries have provided a basis for abrogating cancer-promoting aspects of immunity; treating inflammatory diseases; detecting viruses, bacteria and parasites; and developing new vaccines and therapeutics. In seeking to understand immunology, researchers have also gained unprecedented insight into the normal functioning of cells and tissues.

To control diseases, humans have an exquisite system that monitors the body for altered cells (cancer), foreign pathogens and abnormal cellular events, including chronic inflammation. The ability to detect the difference between self and non-self is tightly controlled, yet there are numerous human diseases associated with the breakdown of this surveillance system, resulting in inflammation and conditions such as arthritis, autoimmune disease and cancer.

Through this program area, our researchers continue to pursue relevant research while also preparing future generations of immunologists through our PULSe training group.