New affiliation enhances research into immunologic and inflammatory diseases
January 22, 2009
Boston, Mass. - The Immune Disease Institute (formerly the Center for Blood Research) and Children's Hospital Boston have entered into an affiliation which is expected to be completed in early 2009. IDI will become Children's sixth multidisciplinary research program and will be called the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine. IDI will benefit from being part of a larger research enterprise, including funding for the recruitment of additional researchers, enhanced management of its endowment, additional support for fundraising and the ability to more closely collaborate with Children's researchers. Children's will benefit from the addition of 19 outstanding researchers and increased collaboration with them. The public will benefit by greater scientific integration and synergies.
IDI is a non-profit research and educational institution, affiliated with Harvard Medical School whose faculty includes four members of the National Academy of Science. Children's has nine members of the National Academy of Science and 13 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators. IDI receives approximately $38 million in annual research support. Children's receives approximately $225 million.
"We are delighted at this opportunity to join forces with such a high-caliber team of researchers who share our interest in finding answers to some of the most vexing diseases, from lupus to diabetes to various cancers," says James Mandell, MD, chief executive officer, of Children's Hospital Boston.
The 200 research staff at IDI pursue four primary areas of research: adhesion molecules and inflammation; autoimmunity and allergy; genetics of immunodeficiency and cancer; and immune defenses against infectious disease, virus and tumors. Milestones include the: fractionation of blood plasma into its component parts; identification of the receptor for the common cold rhinovirus, discovery of adhesion molecules that direct white cell migration to areas of infection, genetics of antibody development, and mapping, cloning of immunodeficiency genes and development of RNAi as a therapeutic.
"The IDI scientists are extremely excited about this tremendous opportunity to increase their collaborations with the outstanding scientists and clinicians at Children's Hospital" said Frederick Alt, Ph.D., IDI's Scientific Director. "This alliance should significantly enhance our efforts to push forward with ground-breaking research in immunology and inflammation and, in particular, it should enhance our ability to translate basic discoveries into the clinical setting."
IDI has laboratories at three locations in the Longwood Medical Area, including 800 Huntington Avenue, Harvard Medical School, and at the new Center for Life Science Boston, across from Children's Karp Family Research Center.
Children's Hospital Boston is one of the nation's premier pediatric medical centers. Founded in 1869 as a 20-bed hospital for children, today it is a 397-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, the largest provider of health care to the children of Massachusetts, and home to the world's leading pediatric research enterprise. For more information about Children's, visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom and for IDI visit www.idi.harvard.edu.