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The Center for Inflammation & Mucosal Immunology (CIMI)

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From basic science to clinical trials, research at the Center for Inflammation & Mucosal Immunology focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in uncontrolled inflammation, with the primary goal of identifying unique therapeutic platforms and bio-marker signatures to reduce morbidity and mortality from inflammatory diseases. Inflammation is a complex biological response to harmful stimuli; therefore, interdisciplinary collaborative effort is critical to fully understand the molecular pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases and thus, to accelerate the successful establishment of cutting edge therapeutic approaches for future clinical trials.

Induced pathogenic inflammation is the hallmark of numerous human diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases, Celiac disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, colon cancer, chronic infectious diseases, systemic pulmonary fibrosis, type 1 diabetes, wound healing, and the arthritides. CIMI’s mission is to elucidate the cellular and molecular basis of inflammatory diseases in order to develop unique diagnostics and therapeutics for these disorders.  We believe that targeted preventive or therapeutic strategies will become most effective when inflammatory cascades in host cells are understood in depth, and when the critical molecules involved in undesired induced inflammation are identified.

Balanced inflammation induces the protective host immune response to resist microbial challenges, as well as facilitates wound healing and functional homeostasis.  However, pathogenic inflammation induced by highly activated immune cells may result in auto-inflammatory diseases.  Consequently, inflammation must be tightly regulated by various regulatory immune mechanisms in order to prevent collateral tissue damage.  Understanding these cellular and molecular regulatory mechanisms will lead to the development of novel anti-inflammatory strategies.