The immunology, imaging, and informatics in precision immunomedicine (iPRIME) initiative was launched in 2022 as part of the University’s Prominence to Preeminence Program (P2PE). Our goals are threefold and are part of a strategic plan to make UVA a global center for precision immunomedicine as it relates to cardiovascular disease (CVD). One of the markers of CVD is increased inflammation in cardiovascular tissues, which is modulated by the immune system. The iPRIME initiative focuses on the immune system as it plays a crucial role in the progression, severity, and outcomes of CVD. While immunomodulatory therapies have emerged as potential therapeutics for CVD, a full understanding of mechanisms, biomarkers, and effective and tailored therapies in humans is lacking. The goals are:
- To form collaborative teams and provide seed funding for novel projects surrounding precision immunomedicine to develop novel drugs for CVD patients
- Collect and maintain biospecimens and patient data from a large cohort of patients and allow access to UVA researchers addressing questions surrounding CVD
- Train and inform the next generation of caregivers and scientists in precision immunomedicine via student seed grants and access to technical support in single-cell analyses and computational biology / artificial intelligence learning
This initiative, under the leadership of Drs. Coleen McNamara, Angela Taylor, and Stefan Bekiranov along with several other outstanding faculty members from the Cardiovascular Division and other UVA schools and centers, seeks to enhance CVD research and clinical care.