Because the immune system is at the core of so many diseases, we believe that our science is poised to make advances that will impact human health in our lifetime.
Someone, perhaps a close relative or friend whose health has suffered because of a disease related to the immune system, is at the center of what motivates every one of us at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology.
Rheumatoid arthritis, type 1(juvenile) diabetes, asthma, and Crohn's disease, are conditions that cause pain, suffering, debilitation, and even shortened lifetimes. These are just a few examples of the diseases of the immune system, which touch almost every organ of the body. Some of these are known as "autoimmune" diseases, in which our immune system - which usually fights infections - attacks our own normal cells. Chronic inflammatory diseases that are major killers, such as atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes, also involve the inappropriate activation of elements of the immune system. Yet the immune system of course does great good in protecting us from serious infections such as influenza, hepatitis C and HIV. Every day, our researchers work towards making discoveries that will lead to better preventions, therapies, and ultimately cures for immune system diseases, as well as working for ways to improve the vaccines that the world so desperately needs.
In the past year, we broadened our research in inflammation and diabetes by welcoming scientists Joel Linden, Lynn Hedrick, and Nunzio Bottini. Then, to capitalize on the revolution in genomics research, we established the Division of Signaling and Gene Expression with the recruitment of Anjana Rao and Patrick Hogan from Harvard's School of Medicine.
The promise of biomedical research on the immune system comes from the surprise discoveries it can yield. For example, recently, long-time La Jolla Institute scientist Toshiaki Kawakami's allergy research resulted in a finding that could lead to the suppression of certain blood cancers.
For over twenty years, our model has been to have independent laboratories working on different aspects of the immune system and collaborating with each other, as well as with other scientists in San Diego, nationally, and internationally. We believe that when you bring extraordinary scientific minds together under one roof, and provide them with the cutting edge tools, technologies needed for discovery, and support for their endeavors that few other institutions attempt to provide, Finding Cures Faster, will happen.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know our scientists and the commitment of everyone at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology to Finding Cures Faster. While the U.S. government funds the majority of biomedical research, philanthropy is essential to enabling high-risk studies that provide unexpected insights, such as a cancer finding from an allergy study, to proceed. Your support of our research is critical and most appreciated.
Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D.
President & Chief Scientific Officer