Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Penn Autoimmunity Center of Excellence (ACE) is one of five clinical and translational research centers in the United States, connected to an additional five basic research centers. ACEs conduct clinical trials and collaborate to perform basic and translational research to better understand why autoimmunity occurs and how we can develop safer and more effective therapies for autoimmune diseases.
Clinical and Scientific Program
The Penn ACE focuses on B cells as drivers of autoimmunity for three debilitating and potentially life-threatening autoimmune diseases—multiple sclerosis, pemphigus vulgaris, and type 1 diabetes. Prospective randomized clinical trials have shown that B cells are established drivers of autoimmunity in these conditions, but the diseases differ in the ways in which B cells contribute to disease. The Penn ACE aims to better understand causes and mechanisms of autoimmunity, accelerate clinical research, and increase interdisciplinary collaborative research across these and other B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.