Infectious Diseases

Learn more about Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases: An Overview

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. Our research spans many infectious diseases, ranging from influenza to Ebola. Our team has also made crucial contributions to COVID-19 research since the beginning of the pandemic, from exploring important questions about the virus to helping test the first COVID-19 vaccines.

What Are Infectious Diseases?

Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by invaders such as viruses, fungi and bacteria. These harmful germs cause infections, which happen when germs make copies of themselves and increase in number. Infections cause different symptoms depending on where they are in the body, ranging from fever and chills to stomach pain and nausea and many other symptoms. Some of the most common infectious diseases include:

  • The common cold
  • COVID-19
  • The flu (influenza)
  • Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)

What Is the Latest Research Into Infectious Diseases?

BRI’s infectious disease research includes:

  • Examining how infectious diseases impact the human immune system and vice versa.
  • Understanding how vaccines work in people with immune system diseases.
  • Exploring how to better tailor COVID-19 treatments and prevention to different populations.
  • Understanding if and how infections trigger autoimmune diseases.

Labs Studying Infectious Disease

Bolouri Lab Main

Bolouri Lab

The Bolouri lab is interested in developing and applying computational systems immunology methods to better understand dysregulated immune cell development and differentiation.
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Hamerman Lab Main

Hamerman Lab

The lab is interested in understanding how myeloid cells contribute to both productive and pathological immune responses during infection, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases.
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Lacy-Hulbert Res Proj Main - Forward Genetics

Lacy-Hulbert Lab

The Lacy-Hulbert lab works to understand how different aspects of the immune system cooperate to identify and combat potentially infectious organisms while preventing immune attack against innocuous microbes or the body’s own self.
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Stefani Lab Main

Stefani Lab

The goal of our research is to better understand mechanisms of sensing and repair during diseases like cancer, infections, and neurodegenerative disorders.
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Ziegler Lab Main

Ziegler Lab

The Ziegler laboratory is investigating the role of the epithelial cytokines TSLP and IL-33 in regulating protective responses at mucosal barrier surfaces such as the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
View Lab

Infectious Disease Clinical Research

Studies labeled as “Enrolling” are actively recruiting new participants while studies labeled as “Closed to Enrollment” are still active but no longer seeking new participants.


Please email the Clinical Trials Unit or call (206) 287-6260 for more information.


Have you recently had a viral infection?

Support infectious disease research at BRI by joining our vaccine and infectious disease biorepository.

Blog Stories

Blog Main Image - Researcher Woman Examining Samples Blue
January 10, 2024

On the Brink of a Golden Age of Medicine

"I know we will reach that golden age, and BRI’s research in human immunology is the vehi¬cle that will take us there. This field has shepherded incredible advances in recent years, including new vaccines, new cancer treatments, and new and better treatment options for autoimmune disease."
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Blog Main Image - Man Coding Single Screen
June 30, 2023

Big Data Reveals Surprising Defense Against COVID-19

“If you’d asked me in March 2020, I’d have said the pandemic was going to be really bad for my asthma patients. But we saw the opposite,” says Matt Altman, MD, MPhil, who treats patients with allergies and asthma at UW Medicine and conducts research at BRI.
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Dr. Buckner reviewing information
February 4, 2023

BRI's Vision of Immune Health

A message from BRI President Jane Buckner, MD, about BRI's new, broader vision for immune health.
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Immuno-what? Hear the latest from BRI

Keep up to date on our latest research, new clinical trials and exciting publications.