Research

Our Members are primarily located at the Ragon, while our Associate Members and Steering Committee Members conduct research both at the Ragon and their primary research institute, indicated in parenthesis.

HIV/AIDS

The study of HIV, a devastating epidemic affecting millions of people around the globe, was the Ragon Institute’s initial research program. We were founded with the goal of eradicating HIV and work collaboratively with scientists and affected communities in South Africa, the center of the global epidemic to do so. We currently have a promising vaccine candidate in a clinical efficacy trial in Africa, with other HIV vaccine concepts in development. 

Member labs: Walker, Allen, Kwon, Balazs, Dong, Ghebremichael, Ndhlovu 
Associate Member labs: Shalek (MIT)
Steering Committee Member labs: Chakraborty (MIT), Burton (Scripps), Irvine (MIT)

Global Infectious Diseases

We have expanded our initial focus to include a number of other infectious diseases of global importance, including tuberculosis, a common coinfection in HIV infected  persons, and influenza virus, which affects millions across the world every year. We seek to better understand, prevent, and treat these diseases, which have devastating global impact. 

Member labs: Bryson, Barczak, Alter, Schmidt, Dong
Associate Member labs: Shalek
Steering Committee Member labs: Burton (Scripps)

Emerging Infectious Diseases

Our deep immunological and infectious disease expertise, coupled with our flexible funding structure, has allowed us to respond quickly to emerging infectious diseases, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Ragon scientists were able to start working on the SARS-CoV-2 virus from the moment its genome was sequenced, and we helped establish and lead an unprecedented, cross-institutional, multidisciplinary research effort, the Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness (MassCPR).

Member labs: Yu, Schmidt, Pillai, Alter, Kwon, Lingwood, Balazs
Associate Member labs: Shalek (MIT)
Steering Committee Member labs: Burton (Scripps)

Vaccine Development

The ultimate goal of our basic and applied immunology studies is to prevent infections that have global impact through development of effective vaccines and immunotherapies. We use a detailed understanding of the immune response to various pathogens, and how these pathogens evade that response, to drive rational vaccine development. An HIV vaccine is currently in clinical trials, and a COVID-19 vaccine will be entering clinical trials soon, with efforts to develop a more effective influenza vaccine, among others, underway. 

Member labs: Lingwood, Alter, Walker, Balazs
Associate Member labs: Shalek (MIT)
Steering Committee Member lab: Barouch (BIDMC)

Basic and Applied Immunology

Answering fundamental questions about immunology (basic), often in the context of specific human diseases (applied), is what forms the foundation for all of our work in immunology. These important efforts provide a framework which we use to create all of our treatments, therapies, and vaccines.

Member labs: Pillai, Bryson, Alter, Batista, Lingwood
Associate Member labs: Shalek (MIT)
Steering Committee Member labs: Carrington (NCI), Chakraborty (MIT), von Andrian (HMS)

Clinical Studies

We apply the insights we generate at the bench to testing these concepts through our translational work at the bedside, where clinicians and physician-scientists study valuable patient-derived samples, collaborate with hospitals, and use science as a vehicle for community good.

Member labs: Kwon, Yu, Dong
Steering Committee Member labs: Barouch (BIDMC)