Initiative to Decode Human Immune System Is the Talk of AI for Good Global Summit

GENEVA, July 6, 2023 — The Human Immunome Project’s (HIP) Board Chair Jane Metcalfe and CEO Hans Keirstead spoke today at the AI for Good Global Summit detailing how decoding and building an AI model of the immune system can revolutionize how we address disease and enable everyone to live longer, healthier lives.

The immune system is the core of human health. It determines whether we survive infancy, which diseases we get, how we age, and how long we live. It holds the key to fighting disease and improving health. Yet its complexity has limited our ability to tap into its potential. Until now. Recent advances in AI have provided us with the tools to rapidly process the trillions of datapoints required to model the immunome, understand how it varies across individuals of different ages, ethnicities, sexes, socioeconomic classes, and health conditions, and develop targeted approaches to combatting disease from cancers and Alzheimer’s to heart and autoimmune diseases.

“The mission of the Human Immunome Project represents an unmatched scientific feat,” said CEO Hans Keirstead. “By generating immunological baseline and functional datasets reflective of humanity’s diversity, we can supercharge scientific research, rapidly develop diagnostics, therapeutics, and immunotherapies, and drastically reduce global healthcare costs by preventing disease and improving the efficacy of treatment. Our scientific plan is designed to ensure these gains are felt equally—that no one is left behind—and AI offers us the tools to achieve this urgent mission.”

Unlocking the secrets to immunity can unlock a new era of global health. The work of the Human Immunome Project cuts across the Sustainable Development Goals, advancing targets related to health, innovation, inequality, and partnership. And equity is at the heart of this mission with a scientific plan designed to reflect global diversity and improve health outcomes for all.

“The human immunome is one of the world’s most complex systems, but with the help of AI, we can now answer questions once thought impossible,” said Board Chair Jane Metcalfe. “The Human Immunome Project is the right initiative at the right time: a truly global effort that is leveraging advances across technology to empower scientists with the tools to model the immunome and change how we think about and practice medicine. We have an immense opportunity to break through scientific barriers and all of us—whether a scientist, an AI expert, a donor, or a policymaker—have a role to play. We hope you’ll join us.”

Liza Kane-Hartnett


ABOUT THE HUMAN IMMUNOME PROJECT: The Human Immunome Project (HIP) is transforming global health by generating immunological baseline and functional datasets to power a publicly available AI model of the immune system that can accelerate research and drug discovery and decrease healthcare costs worldwide.

ABOUT AI FOR GOOD: The AI for Good Global Summit is organized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)—the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology—in partnership with 40 UN sister agencies and is co-convened by the government of Switzerland.

NOTE TO EDITORS: CEO Hans Keirstead, PhD and Board Chair Jane Metcalfe are available for interviews. Full video coverage of the AI for Good talk will be available in the coming days—please reach out to Communications Director Liza Kane-Hartnett.

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