Research Priority Areas
The 3i Initiative focuses its efforts at the nexus of the fields of immunology, inflammation, and infectious diseases. This nexus is represented by the two pillars of immune deficiency/dysregulation, including innate immunity, and host-microbe interactions, including the microbiome. By strengthening these pillars, the Initiative is able to shift priority areas to match investigator strengths and national funding trends.
This pillar includes research and clinical strengths in the broad umbrella of immune deficiency and immune dysregulation. Key disease areas are: inflammatory and autoimmune fibrosis, immune and infectious disorders of the gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary systems, inflammatory and/or immune pulmonary disorders, primary immunodeficiency, and immune dysregulation syndromes.
This pillar includes research and clinical strengths that relate to host-microbe interactions in health and disease. The specific classes of microbes being studied include the following: bacterial pathogens, viral pathogens and the immune response to viral infection, eukaryotic pathogens, and mucosal immunology.
Cancer: Immunotherapy & Cancer Immunology
This bridge makes a connection between 3i Initiative and the oncology research activities at the University of Utah. Cancer immunotherapy has rapidly grown in recent years and now is regarded as the fourth pillar of cancer treatment. Current work performed by members of this bridge include T-cell mediated immunotherapies, novel therapeutic targets, and precision medicine.
This bridge focuses on the connections between 3i and the Neuroscience Initiatives in the area of neuroinflammation. Current studies include the investigation of immune mechanisms of disease in both viral and antigen mediated models of multiple sclerosis, the role of inflammation in viral-induced demyelination, the influence of the microbiota on the development of immune and glial cell populations in the CNS, and the connection between inflammation and strokes.
Diabetes & Metabolism: Immunometabolism
This bridge focuses on cellular metabolic regulation of the immune system and inflammation, inflammation and the role of insulin resistance and obesity, and type 1 diabetes. Immunometabolism is a rapidly rising field due to the increased understanding of the complex interplay between metabolic reprogramming and the immune system in relation to health and disease.
Cardiovascular Sciences: Thromboinflammation
This bridge brings together the 3i Initiative and the cardiovascular sciences through a focus on inflammation and thrombosis. As these are central to many cardiovascular diseases and their sequelae, including atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmias, and complications of cardiovascular surgery.