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Life Science Zurich Communication & Events

First map of immune system connections reveals new therapeutic opportunities

Immune cells
Immune cells from the blood of a human donor, stained using a novel single-​round multiplexed immunofluorescence protocol. (Photograph: Yannik Severin, Julien Mena, Berend Snijder / ETH Zürich)

Researchers of the Wellcome Sanger Institute and ETH Zurich have created the first full connectivity map of the human immune system, showing how immune cells communicate with each other and ways to modulate these pathways in disease.

Professor Berend Snijder, a co-​author and professor from the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology at ETH Zürich, said: “This research has produced an incredible new tool that can be used to help highlight which proteins and pathways would be beneficial to target in drug development. It can also give insight into whether a drug will have impact on other pathways, which can cause side effects.” All of this information may help in the development of new therapies and could give crucial supporting evidence to help ensure that the most effective substances are put into clinical trials.

ETH News