The National Institutes of Health Center for Human Immunology, Autoimmunity, and Inflammation: history and progress


Address for correspondence: Robert Nussenblatt, Chief, Laboratory of Immunology, NIH—National Eye Institute, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The Center for Human Immunology, Autoimmunity, and Inflammation (CHI) is an exciting initiative of the NIH intramural program begun in 2009. It is uniquely trans-NIH in support (multiple institutes) and leadership (senior scientists from several institutes who donate their time). Its goal is an in-depth assessment of the human immune system using high-throughput multiplex technologies for examination of immune cells and their products, the genome, gene expression, and epigenetic modulation obtained from individuals both before and after interventions, adding information from in-depth clinical phenotyping, and then applying advanced biostatistical and computer modeling methods for mining these diverse data. The aim is to develop a comprehensive picture of the human “immunome” in health and disease, elucidate common pathogenic pathways in various diseases, identify and validate biomarkers that predict disease progression and responses to new interventions, and identify potential targets for new therapeutic modalities. Challenges, opportunities, and progress are detailed.