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Dissecting the mechanisms of chronic immune dysfunction

Goals and Approach

Our body surfaces – the ‘barriers’; including the intestines, skin, and lungs – have a surface area larger than a pickleball court. These surfaces mediate the interactions between the immune system and billions of harmless microbes, pathogens, foods and other substances. The Inflammation program at the Allen Institute for Immunology seeks to decipher the normal and pathologic mechanisms that govern chronic immune dysfunction at barrier surfaces and to uncover new opportunities to reverse or prevent these debilitating conditions. This collaborative team of basic, clinical, and translational scientists, computational biologists, and computing engineers is using integrated omics tools to study immune responses in the barrier and barrier-related tissues. This is combined with a simultaneous investigation of immune events occurring in peripheral blood to generate a systems-level understanding of the disease over time.

The primary focus of our team is the gut. We study samples from patients with untreated, treated, and treatment-resistant inflammatory bowel disease as well as samples from other conditions where gut disease is a prominent feature. Through partnerships with other researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies we’re working to accelerate discoveries and improve the lives of patients with these debilitating conditions.


Science Programs at Allen Institute