The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID/NIH) announced that the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) has been awarded a UM1 grant for a Collaborative Network for Clinical Research on Immune Tolerance (RFA-AI-12-043). This award represents the third NIH funding disbursement since the ITN’s inception in 2000. The current grant, covering the next seven years, will allow the ITN to continue to develop, fund and implement mechanistically-focused clinical trials for novel therapies in transplantation, allergy and autoimmune diseases.
Under this award, the ITN will be centered at the Benaroya Research Institute and will continue to be led by Jerry Nepom, MD, PhD. The collaborative network will also include the University of California, San Francisco with Peter Sayre, MD, PhD as sub-contract recipient for clinical management activities and Massachusetts General Hospital with Larry Turka, MD as sub-contract recipient for mechanistic studies and data analysis. Drs. Bill St. Clair (Duke University) and Larry Turka (Massachusetts General Hospital) will continue to serve as Deputy Directors of Clinical Affairs and Biomarkers & Discovery Research, respectively. Dr. Vince Carey (Brigham and Women's Hospital) has been recruited as the Scientific Director of Bioinformatics.
The ITN will continue to make use of an expert advisory board – the Network Steering Committee (NSC) – composed of clinicians and scientists with expertise across our broad research portfolio. The role of disease area-specific assessment groups (sub-groups of the NSC) – in autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes, transplantation, allergy and asthma, and tolerance assays – will be enhanced, with these groups playing a more active role in the oversight of the portfolio from project proposal to final study analyses. The mandate of these groups will be to continue to develop the respective portfolios based upon the mechanistic insights of tolerance that have been uncovered by the ITN and the broader research community during these past several years.
More information about the ITN’s body of work, including over 40 clinical trials, our data sharing and sample sharing web portal TrialShare and over 100 peer-reviewed publications, can be accessed using the links in this announcement, or through the ITN website, www.immunetolerance.org.