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Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT)

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Programs and Networks

Atopic Dermatitis Research Network (ADRN)

Three contracts support research to reduce the incidence and severity of eczema vaccinatum (EV), a disseminated viral infection following smallpox immunization, occuring almost exclusively in subjects with atopic dermatitis. Clinical and animal studies of innate and adaptive immunity, skin barrier function, genetic markers, and gene expression aim to identify the risk of EV from exposure to/challenge with vaccinia or surrogate viruses.

Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation

Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation in Children

Cooperative Centers for Translational Research on Human Immunology and Biodefense

The mission of these eight research centers is to further our knowledge of human immune responses against infectious pathogens and to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for both short-term immunity and long-term immune memory. The overall goal of the program is to translate research on immunity to infection into clinical applications in humans to protect against bioterrorist threats.

Cooperative Study Group for Autoimmune Disease Prevention
Formation and History (CSGADP)

The CSGADP program was established in 2001 as a collaborative network of investigators with a focus on prevention of autoimmune disease, defined as halting the development of autoimmune disease prior to clinical onset by means other than global immunosuppression, and an emphasis on Type 1 diabetes.

Human Immunology Project Consortium (HIPC)

The initial mission of the HIPC cooperative research centers is to build a novel and comprehensive public database of well-defined molecular signatures that characterize human immune responses to infection, vaccination, and other antigenic challenges. This information will be used to improve vaccines and immunotherapeutics for infectious diseases.

The centers will study specific populations, such as children, the elderly, and people with autoimmune diseases, before and after vaccination or after infection. Investigators will use a variety of systems biology methods and computational tools to determine the characteristic signatures or footprints of exposure to particular pathogens or vaccines.

Research insights made by the centers also promise to create a foundation for future studies on human immune-mediated diseases such as allergy, asthma, transplant rejection, and autoimmune syndromes.

The seven HIPC centers and principal investigators include the following:

  • Baylor Research Institute, Dallas – A. Karolina Palucka, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston – Ellis Reinherz, M.D.
  • Emory University, Atlanta – Bali Pulendran, Ph.D.
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN – Gregory Poland, M.D.
  • Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, WA – Kenneth Stuart, Ph.D.
  • Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA  – Mark Davis, Ph.D.
  • Yale University, New Haven, CT – David Hafler, M.D., and Erol Fikrig, M.D.

Immune Epitope Database

Immune Function and Biodefense in Children, Elderly, and Immunocompromised Populations

A variety of human populations (children, the elderly, and people who do not have normal immune responses) are studied under 10 contracts in this program. The studies focus on defining the molecular basis for differential immune capabilities in combating infection or responding to vaccination at different stages of life or different underlying health problems.

Immune Tolerance Network

Innate Immune Receptors and Adjuvant Discovery

DAIT supports five contracts to discover and characterize innate immune receptors that are important for the development of new adjuvants (chemical compounds that enhance immune response); these adjuvants would exploit the natural capacity of the innate immune system to initiate and sustain appropriate T and B cell responses to novel vaccines against infectious agents.

Large Scale Antibody and T-cell Epitope Discovery

This program supports interactive multidisciplinary teams under 14 contracts to identify novel antibody and T cell epitopes (parts of proteins that antibodies or T cells will recognize) associated with microorganisms that are potential agents of bioterrorism, their toxins, and re-emerging and emerging infectious diseases. This work contributes to the development of new candidates for vaccines and new reagents for characterizing those immune responses that correlate with the protection a vaccine confers.

Modeling Immunity for Biodefense

Four contracts support mathematical modeling and computational analyses of immunity to provide novel perspectives on immune responses to infection or vaccination. The modeling approach includes characterizing both innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogens or their vaccines through iterative studies that include predictions based on modeling and experimental testing of these models in the laboratory.

Population Genetics Analysis Program: Immunity to Vaccines/Infections

Six contracts supported under this program define the associations between gene sequence variations among individuals and susceptibility to infection or the quality of response to vaccination. Further studies look at correlations of outcomes with genetic variations by analyzing protein expression levels and protein function.

Solid Organ Transplantation in HIV: Multi-Site Study

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Last Updated August 17, 2011