SAN DIEGO (November 13, 2007) A major study that will provide a new window into understanding and potentially treating allergies will be conducted by the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI) under a $5 million federal contract. The five-year study, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, could lead to revolutionary new approaches for treating allergies based on targeting T cells, white blood cells that regulate the immune response and which are some of the principal warriors in the bodys defense.
LIAI, a nonprofit organization and one of the worlds leading immunology research centers, will partner on the study with clinical researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) and the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado. Both centers will set up human subject protocols involving allergy sufferers who will donate blood for the LIAI study. We are excited by this research partnership that directly connects the basic immunology science that LIAI is renowned for with the clinical work in patients at these two fine institutions, said LIAIs Alessandro Sette, Ph.D., principal investigator on the allergy contract.
The study will involve 200 donors over five years and will look at 32 common allergen sources, such as trees, grasses, weeds, fungi, mites, insects and mammals. Food allergies are not part of the study.
Howard Grey, M.D., project co-investigator, said the study will push knowledge of allergies to a deeper level. The whole field has been dominated by the analysis of the antibody response, because thats what causes many of the symptoms of the disease the sneezing, sniffling, coughing and so forth, he said, noting that the discovery of the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody in 1966 by Kimishige Ishizaka, M.D., Ph.D. and his wife, Teruko Ishizaka, Ph.D., who later helped launch LIAI, revolutionized
|Contact: Bonnie Ward|
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology