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With a gift from the late Paul Allen, his philanthropy launches ambitious plan to probe human immunology

 12 months ago       105 Views

his past July, philanthropist Paul Allen spent hours grilling his team about an ambitious plan they were hatching: Expanding the Allen Institute — the Seattle-based scientific research organization he founded and funded — to add a new division that would probe the mysteries of the human immune system.

Allen died three months later of septic shock stemming from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

With Allen’s gift, the Allen Institute for Immunology will hire 70 in-house scientists and operations staffers, partner with five clinical research groups, and become a new part of Allen’s legacy.

The goal: to better understand normal variation in the human immune system — and what goes awry when people get sick.

“We aim to try to truly understand what [immune health] is.

The partners will contribute patient samples while also collaborating scientifically.

The new immunology division marks a significant expansion of the Allen Institute, which has about 300 scientists studying brain science and nearly 70 studying cell science.

Bumol’s 70-person team will include the usual ingredients of a research organization: two large biology groups working on experimental immunology and molecular biology, as well as a small research administration staff.

It will also include a significant investment in computational biologists and information technology specialists — an effort to honor Allen’s request that the researchers prioritize mining data in search of insight about the mechanism of disease.

Bumol worked as a consultant to help the Allen Institute develop the plans for the new division before he joined to lead it this past March.

Author: @DailyCupofYoga


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