Benaroya Research Institute Awarded $4.1M National Institutes of Health Grant to Study Regulatory T Cells’ Function in Immune System Homeostasis


Benaroya Research Institute announced its reception of four grants totaling more than $5M awarded in late 2023, including a $4.1M award to study how regulatory T cells prevent the immune system from overreacting to harmless substances and reacting to the body’s own cells, which occurs in people living with autoimmune disease.

The five-year grant, titled “Regulatory T Cells Maintain Immune Homeostasis Through Translation Control,” is led by BRI’s Steven Ziegler, PhD, and Jane Buckner, MD, as well as Ram Savan, PhD, of the University of Washington. The team will investigate how Tregs suppress protein synthesis, which prevents cell division and ultimately shuts down T cells that promote inflammation. They are also seeking to identify if this process is disrupted in people living with autoimmune disease by studying immune cells isolated from people with type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Ultimately, the group aims to further the understanding of how Tregs function and how this function is altered in the context of autoimmune disease. The grant is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health — National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R01AI181275).