by Eliza Watson
The opening symposium for the Jeffrey Modell Foundation Centre for Primary Immunodeficiencies (PID) was held on 14 June 2018. It was a great success bringing together research scientists, clinicians and patients to discuss PIDs and the importance of such an innovative centre.
The symposium hosted speakers from institutes all over Melbourne and Australia, speaking about the scientific and clinical aspects of PIDs. This included discussing the 350 genes involved in PIDs, the associated morbidities of the diseases such as lung complications and autoimmunity, and the need for better diagnostic testing and newborn screening. The day culminated in a patient-driven session where patients who have been able to experience the advances in PID treatment and management discussed their experiences and improvements to their quality of life. This highlighted the importance of continued research to improve PID treatment.
A/Prof Menno van Zelm from the Monash University Department of Immunology and Pathology and Alfred Health officially opened the centre with Dr Julian Bosco (Alfred Health), Dr Vanessa Bryant (WEHI), Dr Joanne Smart (Royal Children’s Hospital) and Dr Charlotte Slade (Royal Melbourne Hospital, WEHI). Dr Smart also read a letter from the Modell family which expressed their appreciation of the continued support for their cause and all the wonderful work the centre aims to achieve.
The day showcased the multi-disciplinary work that the centre will do in order to improve diagnosis, screening and management of PIDs.
- JMF PID website: https://www.monash.edu/medicine/jmf-melbourne
- Herald Sun article published 14 June 2018, "US foundation funds research into immune diseases".