The Immune Disease Institute is an independent non-profit corporation, which is academically affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
The Institute's mission is fundamental biomedical research to:
* Improve human health
* Harness inflammation
* Strengthen immune defense
Key definitions to understand our work include:
Immunology: studies the structure and function of the immune system, which is the body's organization of organs, tissues, cells, and cell products to protect itself from other organisms. Immunology today involves nearly every aspect of medical discovery, healthcare, and disease management.
Immune defense: is the coordinated and complicated reaction of the agents of the immune system to pathogens, called antigens, which are foreign to the body and have the potential to cause disease. Normal immune surveillance also helps to keep damaged cells from proliferating into cancer. Immune defense research at IDI is targeted at development of defenses against bioterrorism, vaccines against viral and other infections, and new means to prevent or treat types of cancer.
Inflammation: is a protective gathering of immune cells and molecules at a site of infection. Normally a healthy response, inflammation can become prolonged and wreak havoc on body tissues. Heart disease, Alzheimer's, ulcers, and frailty in old age appear to be linked to a state of chronic inflammation triggered by the immune response.