Home Immune System Allen Institute for Immunology Plan to Understand and Map the Immune System

Allen Institute for Immunology Plan to Understand and Map the Immune System

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The Allen Institute for Immunology seeks to understand and map the immune system for new treatments. The Institute for Immunology is part of the Allen Institute and was created with a donation of $125 million from late founder billionaire and philanthropist Paul Allen. As reported by David Bai of AJMC, the Allen Institute for Immunology has partnered with several cancer institutions, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, with the primary goal of understanding the differences between a defective and healthy immune system to improve immune-based treatments.

The road to today’s immunotherapies started with bone marrow transplantations, a curative therapy approach where immune cells from donor bone marrow exert anti-tumor responses. Since then, investigators engineered many types of immunotherapies that targeted blood cancers such as multiple myeloma. Although progress has been unrelenting, the mechanism in which the immune system works is relatively unknown, hindering the development of more effective immunotherapies.

The main goal of the Allen Institute for Immunology is to better understand the immune system. The immune system is a powerful weapon that kills outside pathogens as well as inside threats such as cancer. When the immune system becomes dysfunctional, autoimmune diseases appear and cancer flourishes. Teams will compare different types of disordered immune systems (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, multiple myeloma) with healthy immune systems. 

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