Centre for Human Immunology

research scientist working with chemicals in laboratory

Mandate

The mandate of the Centre for Human Immunology (CHI) is to provide a unified approach to facilitate and accelerate development of translational Immunology at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University.

Overview

The immune system is essential to protect us from infections and tumours, but also causes diseases such as autoimmunity, allergy, and graft rejection. Inflammation is driven by the immune system and is the cause of many human diseases including graft rejection, neurological and cardiovascular diseases and complications arising from infections. On the other hand the immune system is essential for immunotherapy, vaccination and regulation of the body’s defense against infections. Since 2010 the Centre primarily functions by promoting research in basic and clinical immunology and interaction between researchers in the area of immunology with infectious diseases, microbiology and its application to human diseases. The Centre fosters national and international collaborations by Western researchers in human and translational immunology. Successful future research in translational immunology will require an integrative approach that bridges the traditional disciplines of immunology with microbiology and infectious diseases and linking these to public health related areas. The overarching purpose of CHI is to share information and facilitate joint research and training programs.

Vision

The vision of the Center for Human Immunology is to establish a platform that brings together basic, translational and clinical immunology researchers at Western by establishing a collaborative and nurturing environment.

Governance/Leadership

The Director of CHI is appointed and reports to the Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology for a 5 year term. An Associated Director of the Centre is appointed by the Director. The Centre Director, Dr. B. Singh and Associate Director, Dr. D. Heinrichs provide leadership to the Centre. CHI has administrative support provided through the Department of Microbiology & immunology.

Membership

The membership of the Centre is open to all relevant faculty across the University and its affiliated research institutes and hospitals. The appointment of CHI members is for a 3 year renewable term. The Centre members meet regularly to discuss issues of mutual interest. Centre connect with multiple Departments and Programs across the city that involves immunology and inflammation research at Western.

Role of CHI

CHI provides research innovation by fostering/nurturing multidisciplinary research collaborations by engaging all immunology related investigators. The Centre facilitates recruitment of new faculty in immunology across Western.

The Centre supports trainees by fostering exchange of information and identification of opportunities in basic, translational and human immunology. It represents Western at National and International level:

CHI represents Western at the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) and serves on the organizing committee of the FOCIS annual conference that provides an international link to Western through FOCIS. CHI fostered translational immunology at national level as the founding node of the CIHR Human Immunology Network (CHIN) from 2012‐2015 and continues to interact with CHIN members on a regular basis from across Canada in human immunology related issues.

Contact

For all inquiries related to the CHI please contact:
email: bethany.heinrichs@schulich.uwo.ca
Tel: 519.661.3228