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Connect Immune Research

A partnership to accelerate the progression and impact of autoimmune research.
Content last reviewed and updated: 27.03.2024

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What is Connect Immune Research?

Connect Immune Research is a partnership that wants to understand how immune conditions are linked. We want the scientific community to work together across autoimmunity specialisms to tackle multiple conditions at once. Understanding similarities and using existing knowledge of different conditions could help transform lives much faster than small groups of specialists working on separate conditions.

Who is in the Connect Immune Research partnership?

JDRF UK, the MS Society, Versus Arthritis and the British Society for Immunology established the partnership in 2018, when the first research funding call was launched.

Connect Immune Research now includes 12 partner organisations.

These autoimmune research organisations are:

Why are we doing this?

As the type 1 diabetes charity, our priority is to prevent type 1 diabetes from happening and find the cure for the 400,000 people living with it in the UK. The Connect Immune Research partnership will help us achieve this faster. It could also allow our partners to prevent and cure a whole range of other autoimmune conditions, which together affect approximately four million people in the UK.

What have we achieved so far?

Initial project Yanick Crow

In 2018 Connect Immune Research awarded funding for the first project to Professor Yanick Crow at the University of Edinburgh. Yanick’s research project investigated the role of interferon – a substance produced by the immune system – in autoimmunity.

Are You Autoimmune Aware report

In November 2018, Connect Immune Research launched the Are You #AutoimmuneAware report. The report revealed the increase in autoimmune conditions and highlighted the need for greater recognition and investment for autoimmunity as a distinct research area.

Find out more in the Are You #AutoimmuneAware report.

Awards in collaboration with the Chernajovsky Foundation

In 2022, we announced that ten new autoimmunity research projects would receive nearly £1 million from a partnership between the Lorna and Yuti Chernajovsky Biomedical Research Foundation and Connect Immune Research.

The ten pilot projects target the links between autoimmune conditions to increase our understanding and generate new treatments. Find out more about the pilot projects.

Lab exchange programme

In December 2022, Connect Immune Research launched our lab exchange funding programme. The Connect Immune Research Lab Placement Grants fund early career researchers to learn new skills and techniques by completing a placement in a lab at another research organisation. The first award was made in January 2023, and you can find out more about the lab exchange programme here.

Are there any open funding calls?

All open funding calls as part of the Connect Immune Research partnership are shared on our Research Opportunities Funded in Partnership page.

What do we want to do next?

As the initiative develops further and begins to deliver results, we are keen for other organisations with an interest in autoimmune research to join this initiative. To help inform potential partners, we have developed the Connect Immune Research Charter which explains our vision, strategy and principles.

For further information, please contact

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