Now the scientific community has the tools to take our knowledge even further by analyzing T cell responses, he said. It seems in keeping with our history that LIAI will now lead the next step breaking down the allergy response to its most basic molecular level.
Results from the project will be available to scientists worldwide via the NIAIDs Immune Epitope Database (IEDB), the worlds largest research database on how the immune system responds to infectious diseases, allergens and other agents. The database, developed by LIAI under an NIAID contract, is a public health tool designed to speed the development of vaccines and treatments by sharing important research data with scientists around the globe.
Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., LIAI president & scientific director, said the project is a perfect fit with LIAI because it is developing the IEDB. In addition, allergies are a cornerstone of its immunology-focused research activities. Many people may not be aware that the immune system plays a role in so many diseases -- from cancer to infectious diseases, he said. Allergies are no exception, and result from inappropriate or overactive immune responses. Kronenberg said the study also enables further collaboration between LIAI, now located in the new Science Research Park at UC San Diego, and the Universitys researchers.
Sette said the project will map down to the level of molecules and atoms the chemical structures recognized by the immune system and which cause it to initiate an allergic reaction. This has the potential to directly impact all people who are afflicted with allergies, because it may lead to new, more effective ways of diagnosing and treating these diseases. According to the NIAID, allergic diseases affect as many as 40 to 50 million Americans, and they are among the major causes of illness and disability in the United States. Allergies can also lead to asthma, a respiratory disorder that acc
|Contact: Bonnie Ward|
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology