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Scripps Research Institute Wins Major Grant To Decipher Immune System

Aired 8/24/12 on KPBS News.

An international team of scientists led by the Scripps Research Institute will continue trying to unravel the mysteries of the immune system, thanks to a new federal grant.

— Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have received a major federal grant to continue their explorations of the immune system. The $22.5 million award will fund the work for another five years.

The international team led by the Scripps Research Institute launched their investigations 10 years ago. Since then, the team has identified dozens of genes that play a role in regulating the immune system's response to infections.

Head researcher Richard Ulevitch pointed out all of their discoveries have been in mice.

"The gap in our knowledge is really translating it to human immunology," Ulevitch said, "and really understanding the comparable steps in the human setting."

Ulevitch predicts we'll start to see big improvements in understanding the mechanisms of disease within the next decade.

The grant to continue his work is one of the largest the Scripps Research Institute has received this year.

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