Pioneering Work

Focus on the Immune System

Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) has been invited by the new Allen Institute for Immunology to partner in its first phase of research, along with other leading research organizations, to understand the dynamic balancing act of the human immune system, how it distinguishes friend from foe and what goes wrong when we’re ill.

image description From left: Project leader, Cate Speake, PhD, staff scientist, research assistant member; Thien-Son Nguyen, manager, Clinical Core Lab; Kassidy Benoscek, clinical study coordinator; Alex Walker, senior software engineer; and David Skibinski, PhD, staff scientist

BRI’s role will be to provide new, detailed information about the normal, healthy immune system to serve as a foundation for existing and future disease research programs. To accomplish this, BRI will recruit healthy adults in specific age ranges, 25 to 35 years and 55 to 65 years, from the Seattle area.

The goal of the project is to shed light on the various factors — lifestyle, environmental exposures and vaccines — that can impact the immune system.

BRI joins research partners Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of California San Diego with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the University of Pennsylvania in this large-scale team science, multiyear project. Initially, the partnership will focus on three autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease; and two cancers, multiple myeloma and melanoma, in addition to the study of healthy immune systems.

More Stories