Immune System Diseases

BRI’s research aims to predict, prevent, reverse and cure immune system diseases. This includes autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, as well as allergies, cancer and COVID-19. We work to understand the cells and processes that lead to these diseases, inform treatments that target their root cause, and pave the way for personalized medicines tailored to each patient’s unique biology.
Research Area Icon - Allergies


Allergies are one of the most common immune system conditions, impacting as many as one in five people. Common allergies include pollen, animal dander, dust, and foods including nuts, shellfish and milk.

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Research Area Icon - Asthma


Asthma is a common immune system disease that affects the lungs. As many as one in 13 people in America, including many children, live with asthma.

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Research Area Icon - Cancer


Nearly 1.8 million Americans will learn that they have cancer this year. There are more than 200 forms of this often devastating disease, which are characterized by the uncontrolled and destructive growth of cells.

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Research Area Icon - Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Understanding how infectious diseases impact the immune system and vice versa is a key piece of BRI’s work. Our team aims to better understand how germs interact with the immune system and examine if and how vaccines and medicines help fight infectious diseases.

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Research Area Icon - Digestive Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

More than one in 200 Americans live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Scientists at BRI are studying IBD from a variety of angles to understand what goes wrong and develop new ways to treat, stop and even prevent it.

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Research Area Icon - Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)


As many as one in 1,000 people live with lupus (the most common form being systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE]). While no cures or therapies that provide a long-term remission (absence of symptoms) truly exist for lupus, there are a variety of treatments available that can help manage the symptoms.

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Research Area Icon - Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects about one in 1,000 Americans and is twice as common in the Northwest, where approximately two in 1,000 people live with MS.

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Research Area Icon - Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis

More than one in 100 Americans live with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). BRI was an early leader in understanding the genetic component of RA, and scientists at BRI continue their work to understand what causes it, how to prevent it, and how to better treat it.

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Research Area Icon - Scleroderma


Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that affects the connective tissues of the skin and other organs. This disease can be tricky to diagnose and difficult to treat, but BRI scientists are working to change that.

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Research Area Icon - Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes

For more than two decades, BRI has been a worldwide leader in research to predict, prevent, treat and cure type 1 diabetes.

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