VGTI Florida researchers are studying the human immune system with the goal of understanding the mechanisms and pathways that are responsible for our response to pathogens and cancer. Our research is therefore ultimately directed toward preventing and treating infectious diseases, cancer and boosting immunity of the elderly. We are working in collaboration, locally and globally, with others on developing new vaccines and treatments to fight diseases such as HIV/AIDS, breast and ovarian cancer, and influenza as well as emerging infectious diseases such as Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus, and Dengue Fever.
An efficient and potent immune response to pathogens and cancer cells involves the highly orchestrated interaction of multiple cell types and effector molecules. Our approach is to evaluate an individual’s immune function from a multi-cell type systems biology approach and identify the genomic immune response signatures that provide clues to the mechanisms that allow some individuals to better fight infections and cancers. Through this methodology the scientists at the Institute take a personalized medicine approach in understanding the differences in responses of individuals to pathogens and cancer.