The Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease (CITIID) was created to provide the University of Cambridge with a centre focussed on the host-pathogen interface, to allow the study of clinically important infections and the human immune responses to them. It opened its main laboratories in the new Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre in September 2019, but also has footprints in the Department of Medicine in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and as the Molecular Immunity Unit embedded within the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
CITIID has been recently repurposed to throw all of its weight behind the fight against COVID-19. It brings to bear upon this global problem over 150 scientists and physicians, the UK’s largest academic containment Level 3 facility, and a range of collaborators from across the UK and beyond. Most importantly, it is integrated with the NHS both locally, through Addenbrooke’s and Royal Papworth Hospitals, and nationally, in particular via the NIHR National BioResource.
We aim to focus our research on both short and medium-term solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Short term measures to combat the disease are vital to save lives now, but this will be a sustained fight and longer term solutions will become critical. While driving forward this research programme, we will actively bolster NHS patient care, for example leading on COVID-19 staff screening at Addenbrooke’s, and contributing to patient diagnostic testing and nursing support.
We are grateful to the many patients who are contributing to our studies, and to our teams of scientists, clinicians and support staff who have volunteered to work on this important endeavour. I believe that collectively their dedication will make a real difference.
CITIID Director and Head of the Department of Medicine