Scientific Consensus Builds on Effort to Map and Model Human Immune System

  • Representatives from academia, industry, civil society, and intergovernmental organizations support new scientific strategy to generate diverse immunological datasets at scale and build publicly available AI models of the human immune system.
  • Global initiative to launch data collection efforts at seven study sites in early 2024.

BARCELONA, November 21, 2023 – The Human Immunome Project Into Action Conference, hosted at CosmoCaixa Museum of Science by the CaixaResearch Institute and Human Immunome Project (HIP), concluded with agreement on a scientific strategy to map and model the human immune system, the groups announced today. The global effort, which will produce publicly available AI models of the immune system, will offer scientists a groundbreaking new tool to develop interventions to address disease and improve health. A formal scientific plan will be released in the coming months, inclusive of the inputs from participants.

“The Into Action Conference was a perfect inaugural event for the CaixaResearch Institute,” said Josep Tabernero, the Institute’s Science Director. “Mapping and modeling the human immune system would be nothing short of transformative and is the exact kind of initiative that CaixaResearch Institute is eager to advance.”

The Conference brought together a multisector group of experts representing science, industry, government, and civil society to stress test HIP’s scientific plan, develop priorities, and build partnerships. The group’s first mission is to develop the world’s largest, and most diverse, immunological dataset on a population level. This data will power AI models of the immune system, first predictive then causal and mechanistic, that will enable scientists to develop new drugs and interventions to improve health and manage disease.

“We are thrilled that leaders across science, industry, and intergovernmental organizations have come together to support and help us strengthen our strategy to decode and model the human immune system. We look forward to releasing our finalized global study protocol in the coming months and to establishing our first sites early in 2024,” said HIP CEO Dr. Hans Keirstead. “Together, we are truly changing the trajectory of global health.”

In wide ranging conversations covering the global study protocol and scientific strategy, data management, AI, and strategic partnerships, the participants articulated the importance of mobilizing the financial, scientific, and human resources needed to achieve HIP’s mission. They additionally called for collaboration across sectors and disciplines and explored the best model for data sharing and management—taking lessons from other global and regional networks.

At this watershed moment for immunology, the mission of the Human Immunome Project represents a new model for global health, and the possibility of improved health outcomes for all.

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ABOUT THE HUMAN IMMUNOME PROJECT

The Human Immunome Project (HIP) generates diverse immunological datasets at scale and builds publicly available AI models of the immune system to accelerate medical research and drug discovery, improve health, and decrease healthcare costs worldwide. HIP operates globally and is a registered nonprofit organization.

ABOUT CAIXARESEARCH INSTITUTE

Promoted by the ”la Caixa” Foundation with an investment of nearly 100 million euros, the future CaixaResearch Institute, which will open its doors in Barcelona, will be the first research center in Spain and one of the first in Europe dedicated to immunology. It will adopt an interdisciplinary approach encompassing various scientific and technological disciplines involved in the study of the immune system. It will also place special emphasis on innovation and the transfer of results to society. At the CaixaResearch Institute, which is expected to employ 500 people, research will be instrumental in advancing our knowledge and understanding of immune system processes and their role in overall health, in particular as regards infectious, oncological, and neurological diseases, among others.

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