CHIN to accelerate immune system discoveries

Seven universities, led by The University of Western Ontario, have been awarded a $600,000 catalyst grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to create a national network to promote and enhance research on the body’s immune system.

The CIHR Human Immunology Network (CHIN) will facilitate basic and clinical research and will help position Canada as a world leader in the development of new vaccines and therapies for infectious diseases, allergies, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and transplantation.

Western will be joined by McGill, McMaster, the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, the University of Manitoba, and Dalhousie University. The Centre for Human Immunology at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry is the coordinating centre.

“CHIN will position Canada as a world leader in human immunology and its translation to improve global health,” says CHIN principle investigator and executive director Quim Madrenas, chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill. “From developing vaccines to discovering new therapies to treat autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection, from improving food and water safety to preparedness for emerging infections, CHIN will be an invaluable resource to the community.”

CHIN will act as a coordinating resource for investigators working in different aspects of the immune system to ensure that human immunology in Canada remains at the forefront of the international effort.