As the coronavirus and COVID-19 turn the world upside down, it’s an unprecedented time filled with challenges that BRI is ready for. We thrive on investigating the toughest medical questions. We have unparalleled expertise in studying the immune system. And we have a long history of collaborating on breakthroughs with researchers worldwide. That’s why our team has sprung into action in the race against COVID-19, by harnessing the tools and expertise we’ve been developing for decades.

We’re already partnering with Virginia Mason Medical Center to study the disease and test new treatments. And we are pursuing new lines of inquiry to unravel how the coronavirus infiltrates the body and how the immune system responds. This research will help us understand the virus and whether certain populations — like people with type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis — are especially vulnerable.

As exciting as this is, let’s be frank: This is a difficult time for everyone. Here at BRI, we’ve paused visits from volunteers who donate blood for our research, so participants can stay safe at home instead of coming to our clinic. We’ve temporarily slowed work in our labs. And our teams, while able to work remotely, are feeling disconnected from the energy that comes with being together. The silver lining is that BRI’s spirit of resilience is shining through.

We see it every day, when essential staff members come through our doors to keep critical experiments and infrastructure running, or roll up their sleeves and volunteer to help Virginia Mason on the front lines of COVID-19 screening and care. This shows the incredible passion and commitment that will help us turn the tables on COVID-19 and open the door to game-changing therapies. We will win this fight, but we can’t do it alone.

Whether it’s joining a research study, sharing our latest COVID-19 news with friends or making a donation to our COVID-19 Rapid-Response Fund, everyone in the BRI community can help. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we’ve already raised more than $350,000 through this fund, providing vital support to push this work forward. Additionally, to date we’ve received more than $5.8 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health to advance our COVID-19 research. But there is still much to learn about this virus and how to stop it, and we need your continued support in order to move ahead quickly.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be posting regular updates on our website, our Autoimmune Life blog and our social media channels about how Team BRI is fighting against this disease and working to guarantee that everyone — whether they’re affected by an immune disorder or not — has the best chance to overcome COVID-19. Please take care of yourselves and your families, and stay tuned and support us in any way you can. 

Fighting Diseases

April 1, 2020

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