The Nomis Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis was launched in 2008 with gifts totaling $18 million from the Nomis Foundation, a European foundation established by Salk trustee G.H. “Heini” Thyssen.
The center aims to shed light on the molecular mechanisms that cause infectious diseases, define key molecules involved in the body’s response to injury and infection, elucidate the rules of engagement between the body’s microbiome and immune system, and understand why inflammatory processes spin out of control under some circumstances.
It is increasingly appreciated that chronic inflammation is the culprit behind the most common illnesses of middle and old age. It is capable of bursting plaques in coronary arteries, leading to heart attacks and damaging nerve cells in Alzheimer’s patients. It drives autoimmune disorders and is intricately linked with the early stage development of cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases.