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Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (PCMM)

The Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (PCMM), previously known as the Immune Disease Institute (IDI), is a research program at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH) recognized worldwide for its discoveries that increase the body's ability to fight disease and to heal.

The breakthroughs of PCMM scientists are greatly increasing our understanding of the influence of immune defense and inflammation on medical discovery, healthcare, and disease management.

PCMM officially joined seven other interdisciplinary programs at Boston Children's Hospital in October 2012 with the goal of increasing collaborations and scientific synergies.

Our investigators are academically affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

Featured News Story

March 22, 2017

Dr. Xuetao Cao delivered the 2017 Edwin J. Cohn Lecture


On Friday, March 17th, Dr. Xuetao Cao delivered the 2017 Edwin J. Cohn lecture. Dr. Cao's lecture, titled "Innate Immune Molecules in Inflammation and Cancer", was held in the Armenise Amphitheater at 210 Longwood Avenue

Xuetao Cao, M.D., Ph.D. is the President of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, a Professor of Immunology at Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, and a Director at the National Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology in Shanghai. He has won many awards in recognition of his scientific achievements and dedication to public service, as well as his contributions to medical research and education, including 2015 Nature Award for Mentoring in Science. Dr. Cao is widely recognized as a leader in promoting innovative and cross-disciplinary research. 

The Edwin J. Cohn Fund was established in 1990, by Alan Latham Jr., in recognition of Dr. Cohn's pioneering work in the fractionation of blood. PCMM and Boston Children's Hospital are proud to use this fund to sponsor a distinguished lectureship, the Cohn Lectureship.

If you were unable to attend, or would like to hear Dr. Cao's lecture again, you may view a recording of the 2017 Edwin J. Cohn lecture HERE.


February 27, 2017

Seeking a way to keep organs young


The wear and tear of life takes a cumulative toll on our bodies. Our organs gradually stiffen through fibrosis, which is a process that deposits tough collagen in our body tissue. Fibrosis happens little by little, each time we experience illness or injury. Eventually, this causes our health to decline.

"As we age, we typically accumulate more fibrosis and our organs become dysfunctional," says Denisa Wagner, PhD, the Edwin Cohn Professor of Pediatrics in the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and a member of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Ironically, fibrosis can stem from our own immune system's attempt to defend us during injury, stress-related illness, environmental factors and even common infections.

But a Boston Children's team of scientists thinks preventative therapies could be on the horizon. A study by Wagner and her team, published recently by the Journal of Experimental Medicine, pinpoints a gene responsible for fibrosis and identifies some possible therapeutic solutions.

Read More.


January 3, 2017

Dr. Hidde Ploegh Joins PCMM

HiddePloeghThe Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (PCMM) would like to welcome Dr. Hidde Ploegh who has joined the Department of Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital as of December 2016.   Pending completion of his appointment to Harvard Medical School, Dr. Ploegh, who is a former PCMM Scientific Advisory Board member, has been nominated to become a PCMM Investigator and also has been nominated to serve as the first incumbent of a Professorship newly endowed by G.D. Yancopoulos in honor of Frederick W. Alt at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.   

Prior to joining PCMM, Dr. Ploegh was a Professor of Biology at MIT since 2005. Dr. Ploegh is a world-renowned immunologist, cell biologist, and biochemist, who has won many awards for his research. Most recently, Dr. Ploegh was elected as a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences.  His research focuses on molecular immunology, particularly the cell biology and biochemistry of surface proteins relevant for immune recognition. His long-term goal is to establish improved tools to explore the immune response non-invasively and to develop approaches for therapeutic interventions, guided by experiments in the appropriate mouse models.  In the last few years, Dr. Ploegh has broadened his research interests to include tumor immunology and immuno-PET to track the impact of antibody-based therapies that target immune checkpoints such as PD-L1.  His current laboratory is located on the 6th floor of the Karp building.

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