Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) is a private, 501 (c) 3, nonprofit medical research institute governed by a volunteer board of diverse community members. BRI is affiliated with Virginia Mason Health System (VM).  The BRI Board is guided by its governance policies and practices to help fulfill BRI's mission and commitment to the community.


To prevent, treat, and cure autoimmune and other immune diseases.

Vision Statement

At BRI, we see a world without autoimmune diseases and harmful immune responses, like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, allergies and asthma. Through our groundbreaking research, we are committed to understanding the immune system to prevent and cure these diseases for our patients and their families.

We’re tackling immunity as a whole to make the most progress most quickly.

  • We must study how the components of the immune response are connected to each other and to our environment. And we must study individuals over time and across diseases.
  • There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases, but progress against one is progress against them all.

We’re ready for this fight, and we’re right for it.

  • BRI accelerates discovery through our fearless faculty and collaborative approach.
  • We relentlessly translate breakthroughs in the lab into meaningful treatments for patients and their families.

Discovery is just the beginning. We’re seeking prevention. We’re seeking cures.

  • Immune diseases can be prevented and, ultimately, cured. 
  • One day, families will no longer need to worry about passing on a disease to the next generation.
  • We are sure of that this holistic approach is how we’ll get there.


  • We value EXCELLENCE in our research science, leadership, compliance, and safety & educational practices.
  • We value INTEGRITY in how we conduct our research efforts, in how we respect our people, in how we deal with the sponsors of research, and in the sharing of information with our collaborators.
  • We value INNOVATION in the creativity applied to our research efforts, the collaboration with other scientists, and the nurturing of our people.
  • We value COLLABORATION with other scientist both internally and with scientists at over 80 other institutions in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The Research Conflict of Interest Policy is an important component of our research quality program.

Institutional Priorities and Strategies

Continue to pioneer and expand our translational immunobiology research;  by expanding and improving our participant registry & sample repository, effective use of our core labs, and adoption of cutting edge tools for research and analysis.

Lead the research community in our areas of expertise; like what we are doing with the Immune Tolerance Network and the TrialNet consortium. 

Expand our mechanistic trial focus areas; for testing hypotheses, assay validation, natural history studies, and proof of mechanism trials.

Improve our research technology capabilities; for antigen-specific T-cell profiling in allergy and autoimmune diseases, expanding data management needs, and computational biology (bioinformatics).

Modeling human disease; by whole genome sequencing, single cell analyses, and use of humanized mice.

Support our current faculty and recruit new faculty; who have unique talents, but share our culture of collaboration and focus on studying diseases of the immune system.

Maintain sufficient non-grant funding sources; to cover approximately 20% of our research expenses each year.

Generate public awareness and support; to clearly communicate the essence of the BRI brand, to build affinity nationwide, and ultimately expand the philanthropic support the institution receives.

Continue to support clinical research; as it is a valued component of the VM organization, which extends beyond our core autoimmunity disease areas into other areas, particularly with regard to immune-oncology and allergies.

Continue to develop and exploit intellectual property; mainly through the collaborative research arrangements generating approximately 5% of total revenues.

Board of Directors

BRI is guided by community leaders who serve as the Board of Directors. The Board oversees our Institute's affairs, including finances and strategic planning.

BRI is led by President Jane Buckner, MD, and Executive Director Homer Lane.

Annual Report

Please read our Annual Report for more information about the latest BRI research advances or request a print copy.