The scientific community needs a comprehensive picture of the immune cells and molecular pathways that regulate physiologic and pathologic processes, in order to develop targeted medical therapies and overcome current pervasive therapeutic challenges.
Advancements in genomics, along with world-wide collaborative efforts in cell modeling and genetic sequencing, have given scientists an appreciation for the critical role of the immune system in disease progression and treatment. Immune cells and responses have indeed been shown to play a role in initial disease development, acceleration and inhibition of disease progression, and physiologic response to therapeutic interventions, and can even be the defining feature of the disease itself, as we see in autoimmune disease and cancer.
The Immunology Program at the Broad Institute aims to clearly define the immune processes that play a central role in both healthy and disease states. It complements existing programs at the Broad that focus on conditions with a strong immunologic basis, for example, cancer biology, neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions, and infectious disease. The program brings together faculty with varied backgrounds and shared interest, to promote creative collaboration on projects and organized seminars.
The goals of the program are to define the specific immune cells involved in a particular process, to characterize how these cells participate in their immediate environment within the organ, and to understand how these cells interact with circulating factors.Through this rigorous and systematic approach, investigators will draw an unprecedented map for immune function and thus lay the groundwork for potential therapeutic interventions.