How is your immune system doing today? A major effort of the Institute is to investigate the immune status of individuals, both healthy and immune impaired or overactive (e.g. autoimmunity or allergies), in greater detail than has ever before been attempted. We want to study not only how to elicit a beneficial response, but also how to avoid a harmful one. By identifying markers that could tell us how a particular person's immune system is functioning, we could both understand immune system-related and infectious diseases better and formulate new and more efficacious interventions.
Charged with carrying out this mission is our Human Immune Monitoring Center, where a number of high-throughput immune assays are performed to analyze a multitude of immune parameters from a single blood sample. The goal is to elucidate and validate benchmarks of immune health that can be used as a standardized immunological “scorecard,” and that will provide new clinical tools for diagnosis, treatment and ultimately curing of both acute and chronic allergic, inflammatory and infectious disease.
Together, with the ITI, many of Stanford’s world class investigators and physician scientists are leading the way by developing and using a number of novel systems-based methods to explore mechanisms of immunity in a variety of settings. Some of these research initiatives include vaccination studies (influenza/tuberculosis/shingles), cancer diagnosis and treatment, cardiovascular health, food allergy, rheumatic diseases (RA/SLE/MS) and organ transplantation.