The Columbia Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI) at Columbia University Irving Medical Center is a multi-departmental, multidisciplinary research center aimed at optimizing translation of advances in basic immunology from the laboratory to the clinic, understanding immunological diseases and events in humans and optimizing transfer of information and methodologies to achieve synergy between different disciplines of applied immunology.
Columbia has the largest organ transplant program in the country, and a major reason for establishing the CCTI was the need for an in-depth laboratory research program focused around the extraordinary potential provided by this clinical program. The Center was established in April 2010 and currently includes 15 faculty members, including 13 Principal Investigators. The CCTI includes laboratories working in various areas of organ transplantation, hematopoietic cell transplantation, Type I diabetes, other areas of autoimmunity, tumor immunology, stem cell biology and basic immunology.
CCTI investigators have expertise at all levels of immunology and transplantation, from molecular biology to large animal and clinical transplantation studies. The CCTI Cores include a Biobank, a Human Studies Core, an Imaging/Flow Cytometry Core, an Animal Core and a Humanized Mouse Core.
The mission of the CCTI is to accelerate translation of basic advances in immunology into new clinical therapies for immune diseases by creating a center that:
- Fosters “horizontal” integration of information and advances between immunological disciplines and “vertical” integration between scientists and clinicians;
- Trains a new generation of scientists and clinicians with the skills to lead the translation of future advances in immunology into clinical therapies.
The latter goal includes both didactic teaching roles for CCTI faculty in the undergraduate and graduate basic science and medical curricula of the University as well as one-on-one mentorship to provide training in laboratory research to undergraduate, graduate and medical students as well as residents, clinical fellows and post-doctoral fellows.