Collectively, the research goals of the Division are to:
- understand the dynamic interplay between our protective immunological mechanisms and the infections and tumours that challenge us;
- identify the factors underlying organ transplant rejection; and
- develop successful intervention strategies for diseases such as Type I diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis that result from the dysregulated attack by the immune system on normal human tissue. Indeed, it is estimated that 70% of all clinical pathologies are directly or indirectly affected by infection and/or the host’s white blood cell-mediated response.
The strength and breadth within the Division permits fluent cross-talk between those at the basic research bench and those at the clinical front line; in real terms, between those identifying important new molecules and those designing innovative trials that can test their clinical application. This cross-talk allows us to challenge old assumptions; develop new hypotheses; and make incisive advances in understanding the basic causes of disease.
The key result is the design of studies that are not merely translational, but are incisive in understanding the basic causes of disease. This unrelenting emphasis on the incisiveness of experiments is seen as the key means by which the expertise of the DIIID faculty and the international trainees that seek to work with us can best be harnessed to provide an assured evidence-base for the development of effective new therapies and vaccines.
Our approach is broad-based, and includes an active postgraduate training programme. It is also very well-supported by the research councils; the Wellcome Trust; by other charities; and by the private sector.