The human immune system exists in a state of delicate balance. Too little activity leaves a person vulnerable to foreign invaders, but too much activity threatens to harm the body it is supposed to protect. In healthy people, the immune system achieves a state of tolerance, quelling defensive measures after a threat has abated.
But in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis, immune cells mistakenly attack the body’s own tissues as if they were invaders.
Little is known about the molecular circuitry that maintains—or upsets—this fine equilibrium. Broad researchers seek to uncover the genes important in controlling the autoimmune response. By untangling the complicated interplay of genes and environment that leads to autoimmune disorders, scientists can ultimately point the way to new treatments.
We are seeking philanthropic partners in the following projects:
Discovering and fully defining the biological mechanism underlying autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Developing ways to predict these diseases.
Developing powerful new tools to characterize and exploit immune function, and drive the discovery and testing of novel therapeutics for autoimmune, inflammatory, and infectious diseases.
News coverage on our research in immunology