Autoimmunity Centers of Excellence
The Rochester ACE is one of nine such centers funded nationwide by the NIAID. The Rochester ACE is directed by Dr. Igñacio Sanz, Chief, Division of Clinical Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology. Pricipal investigators include Drs. Ignacio Sanz, Deb Fowell, Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology, Ben Segal, Department of Neurology, and Jennifer Anolik, Division of Allergy/Immunology and Rheumatology. The Center conducts basic research into the immuno-pathogenesis of three diffferent autioimmune diseases: Type 1 Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosis. The Immunology Core of the Rochester ACE develops and runs innovative assays of human immune phenotyping and function. In addition to the basic projects, the Rochester ACE conducts clinical and mechanistic studies approved by the ACE Steering Committee. To date studies approved include: effects of IL-12 neutralization on cytokine, chemokine and adhesion molecule pathways in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, mechanisms of action of B-cell depletion in systemic lupus erythematosus, and mechanism of action of anti-TNF agents in rheumatoid arthritis. Overall, the Rochester Autoimmunity Center of Excellence illustrates the highly collaborative culture of the University of Rochester and demonstrates the power of a multi-disciplinary approach to translational immunology. The knowledge gained from the studies conducted by the ACE will have a major impact on our understanding of human immune responses in general and autoimmune responses in particular. It will also enhance substantially our ability to treat theses diseases with safe and more effective approaches. Moreover, a better understanding of the human immune response should also improve our ability to design more effective vaccines and immuno-modulatory strategies for other major human diseases such as cancer and transplantation.