The Institute for Cancer and Infectious Diseases
The Institute for Cancer and Infectious Diseases (ICID) seeks to understand fundamental biological insights of cancer cells and opportunistic pathogens (bacterial, viral and fungal) causing infection in immunocompromised patients, and to apply these insights to overcome these diseases through innovative strategies for detection, prevention, and therapeutic intervention.
The Institute for Cancer and Infectious Diseases will become a national and global leader for improving patient outcome through science-based personalized medicine.
Why Cancer and Infectious Diseases (ID)?
In the past decade, there have been major breakthroughs in predicting, diagnosing and treating a wide variety of cancers. Novel imaging techniques and biomarkers have greatly improved cancer diagnosis; new genetic insights help identify risk factors for disease and direct existing therapy, and new biologic drugs have transformed the landscape for therapy for certain deadly cancers. This renaissance in cancer management and understanding has been driven by innovations in genetics, genomics, immunology, proteomics, cell engineering, and biologics development. We are now entering a golden age of scientific discovery in the cancer field, as new insights confront old disease paradigms and provide opportunities to improve patient care. Yet, despite all the recent progress and promise of existing technology, we are still confronted by cancers of the breast, lung, pancreas, bone marrow, blood, cervix, prostate, bladder, and brain. Overcoming and preventing these diseases remains a major challenge.
It is understood in modern medicine that a nexus exists between the development of life-threatening infection (viral, bacterial or fungal) in a patient and disruption of normal immune function due to cancer, transplantation, premature birth, traumatic injury or burns. Successful clinical outcome requires early diagnosis and effective therapy. Diagnostics are a cornerstone of the practice of infectious diseases. Yet, they are complicated by the need to identify numerous infecting pathogens and associated drug susceptibilities. Even when properly diagnosed and treated, clinical failures arise from other key factors such as inadequate drug levels at the site of infection or emergence of drug resistance. In fact, drug resistant bacterial and fungal infections result in excessive morbidity and mortality, prolonged hospital stays, and higher healthcare costs representing a global health crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 2 million Americans acquire serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria infections each year, resulting in 23,000 deaths and an additional $20 billion healthcare costs. Like the cancer field, recent innovations in science have carved new paths for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infection diseases.