New center aims to use immune system to fight cancer, other diseases

A new center at the School of Medicine will help scientists use the power of the immune system to fight infections and cancers. The Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs is part of BioMed21, Washington University’s initiative to accelerate basic science discoveries into improved diagnosis and treatment for patients.

Trick that aids viral infection is identified

Scientists have identified a new way that some viruses protect themselves from the immune system’s efforts to stop infections, a finding that may make new approaches to treating viral infections possible.

Deadly viruses focus of $18 million grant

In an effort to learn why some viruses such as influenza, Ebola and West Nile are so lethal, a team of U.S. researchers plans an $18.3 million comprehensive effort to model how humans respond to these viral pathogens. Participants include Washington University’s Michael Diamond, a West Nile expert.

Some brain cells are better virus fighters

Viruses often spread through the brain in patchwork patterns, infecting some cells but missing others. New research at the School of Medicine helps explain why: Natural immune defenses that resist viral infection are turned on in some brain cells but switched off in others. The white arrows in the picture highlight infected cells in a mouse brain.