LA JOLLA, CA – he La Jolla Institute for Immunology and the San Diego Blood Bank have created a unique partnership that will enable blood donors to have an even greater impact than before: Their blood donation will help fulfill the immediate need for lifesaving blood transfusions at hospitals, as well as support the goals of researchers seeking to harness the power of the immune system to improve human health.
“We rely on our entire community to help us gain a better understanding of the immune system,” said Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of the La Jolla Institute. “Donors who choose to set aside a portion of their blood donation give us the opportunity to become crucial partners in the quest to improve the health of future generations.”
Many of the individuals who donate blood through the San Diego Blood Bank have important immunological characteristics within their blood that may hold the key for understanding the immune response to infectious disease and cancer as well as the prevention, treatment and cure of immune system diseases. All donors will be given the choice to dedicate a small portion of their donated blood to research. The option is strictly voluntary and the donor’s privacy and anonymity will be protected throughout the process.
Scientists at the La Jolla Institute will then search the samples for clues to the molecular processes that govern the function of the immune system, which lies at the heart of many of society’s most debilitating diseases. The medical disorders being tackled by Institute researchers are extraordinarily diverse and together account for more than two-thirds of all deaths in the U.S. each year. Such diseases include Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, influenza, dengue virus and more.
“This vital connection with the San Diego Blood Bank will allow La Jolla Institute researchers to expand their scope of work beyond model systems and delve into the complexities of a patient population,” said Kronenberg. “We are tremendously grateful to all the volunteers who decided to be part of the progress toward a life without disease.”
“Our partnership with the La Jolla Institute further highlights how blood centers can have even greater impact in our community’s health,” said David Wellis, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Blood Bank. “It is said that a pint of blood can save up to three lives, but an extra tube of blood donated to research can potentially save thousands, or even millions, of lives if a mechanism of disease is revealed or a new therapeutic is discovered. We’re excited to be collaborating with La Jolla Institute researchers advancing cures for immunological disease.”
ABOUT LA JOLLA INSTITUTE
La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading towards its goal: life without disease®.
ABOUT SAN DIEGO BLOOD BANK
The mission of San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) is saving lives with quality blood services in partnership with the community. Our vision is to further ensure the health of our community by simultaneously delivering related health and wellness education and services while extending into research. Founded in 1950 with the support of the San Diego County Medical Society as an independent, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, SDBB serves hospitals throughout San Diego, Orange, Imperial and Los Angeles counties. San Diego Blood Bank is committed to saving lives today, and improving life tomorrow.