Fresh perspectives come from LJI scientists

The Immune Matters Spring 2022 letter from President and CEO Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D.

LJI President and CEO Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D.

LJI President and CEO Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D.

Back in 2019, my lab members were the new folks at La Jolla Institute for Immunology. We were coming from a larger institute with a longer history, but we knew LJI was an exciting place where immunologists could thrive.

As newcomers, we saw LJI with fresh eyes—and we saw something very special. LJI is a place where community is key. At LJI, supporters can share their own life experiences with the very researchers focused on a specific disease or a promising new therapy.

With this issue of Immune Matters, I want to invite you to come through the front door of LJI. Look through the hallways and through the microscopes. Be on the front lines with us.

You’ll meet the team behind The John and Susan Major Center for Clinical Investigation. These scientists and medical professionals draw blood from local volunteers who qualify for clinical research studies. Their priceless blood samples have given LJI scientists a window into the roots of Parkinson’s disease and the life-saving power of COVID-19 vaccines.

You’ll see the striking photography of Dawid Zyla, Ph.D. These photos show the cutting-edge equipment that make discoveries possible. You’ll also get a fascinating glimpse into the world of histopathology and Kenneth Kim’s, Dipl. ACVP vivid images of disease processes inside tissues.

This issue’s “Up & Coming” piece highlights the work of Jermaine Khumalo Ph.D., a researcher who came to LJI last year after many years studying immunology in South Africa. Dr. Khumalo is bridging the fields of immunology and bioinformatics to make new asthma therapies a reality. As he explains, asthma kills half a million people a year. This isn’t a small problem, and science needs Dr. Khumalo’s fresh perspective.

Breakthroughs happen inside LJI laboratories every day. I hope you enjoy this new look at what we’ve discovered— and how your support fuels research.

Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D.
President and CEO
La Jolla Institute for Immunology