IMB Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research

Professor Melissa Little, Minister Ian Walker and Professor Justin Cooper-White at the announcement of the agreement with Organovo.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation acts as the body’s alarm system during infection and injury, and it plays an essential role in the body’s healing processes. Inflammation also responds to other health disruptions triggered by genetic or environmental changes.

Inappropriately regulated inflammation lies at the heart of many human diseases, resulting in pain, loss of normal body functions and disease progression. Sepsis, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, stroke, diabetes, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and many cancers arise from dysregulated inflammation. Inflammation affects us all during our lifetimes; the resulting healthcare burden is huge, and is still growing, due to lifestyle choices and our ageing population.

Our research is aimed at understanding and controlling inflammation in these diseases. Innovative approaches are being developed for investigating immune cell functions and disease mechanisms. Ultimately, CIDR aims to discover and develop new drugs, diagnostics and therapeutics to improve the health of our community.

Fast facts

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes are some of the many diseases driven by uncontrolled or inappropriate inflammation
  • 61,000 Australians are estimated to have IBD
  • 28% of Australians have arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. That’s around 6.1 million people
  • Approximately 10% of the population has asthma. That’s 2 million people
  • In 2004-05 health expenditure due to asthma was $606 million
  • More than 20 IMB Centre for Inflammation Research and Disease scientists dedicated to investigating inflammation and its treatments
  • The health costs of treating liver disease in 2012 were estimated as $432 million
  • 3.4 million or 1 in 6 Australians had cardiovascular disease in 2007–08
  • The estimated total number of new cancers diagnosed in 2012 was 120,710.

Sourced from: The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Asthma Australia, IBD Support Australia, Hepatitis Australia, Gastroenterological Society of Australia. 

Resources and links