Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) announced eight new awards received in the past two months, totaling over $9 million in funding to go toward their research of the human immune system — the majority of which will support an ongoing and increased focus into the immune systems of individuals with Down syndrome (DS). This meaningful investment in DS research allows BRI to remain at the forefront of discoveries that will improve the lives and health outcomes of people with DS.
BRI’s focus on DS grows out of the work of Bernard Khor, MD, PhD, whose research assesses the biological roots of immune dysregulation in people with DS. In 2022, Dr. Khor’s group found that the immune systems of people with DS exhibit signs of aging. In fact, their immune systems can appear up to 17 years older than expected from their actual age. Dr. Khor’s recent R01 grant (R01AI166835-01A1), received at the end of 2022, has allowed scientists at BRI to work to better understand what’s driving this immune aging in people with DS.