About — Immunity and fibrosis platform

The Immunity and Fibrosis biomedical research platform investigates the role of the immune system in disease; and the causes of organ fibrosis and cirrhosis.

A disruption in the immune system function or inappropriate activation can lead to asthma and allergies, or autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis.

Fibroproliferative disorders cause organ fibrosis and cirrhosis – the process of scarring and thickening of tissues, most commonly in the lung, liver and kidney. However, fibroproliferative disorders can affect essentially any organ or tissue. Importantly, fibrosis and inflammation are linked as one condition can induce or worsen the other.

The goals of this platform are:

  • Understand how the different cells that comprise our immune system are formed, function and communicate with each other
  • Define how immune system processes are disrupted during many common diseases
  • Better control the immune system to fight infection and cancer
  • Determine how the integrated action of growth factors and the immune response contribute to the pathogenesis of fibrosis
  • Identify and characterize the cellular targets and mechanisms mediating organ fibrosis
  • Develop mechanism-based targeted therapies

The immune system identifies and eliminates foreign invaders from the body. Altered or compromised immune systems lead to disease.

Scarring and thickening of tissues causes fibrosis and cirrhosis.