Defining Standards of Immunological Health
“Doc, how is my immune system doing?” - Seemingly a simple question for which today we have only rudimentary answers. Yet, no robust set of “metrics” for human immunological health currently exists (the standard test, a complete blood count, is over 50 years old and tells us almost nothing about the state and functioning capability of the immune system). We have recently identified distinct immune states in humans, with differing functionality and clinical phenotype. We hypothesize that multiple such immune states exist, dictated by inherited genetics, short and long term environmental exposure histories of individuals, and that they play a crucial role in determining successful protective immunity.
We are thus establishing a framework for measuring immune system function at high resolution from peripheral blood in a standardized manner and are using it to study the variation in the immune system of humans in health and disease with the aims of developing personalized diagnostics.