News

9.17.2013

Primary Immunodeficiencies Center Receives Continued Support to Advance Treatments

The Jeffrey Modell Foundation has renewed its partnership with the Miller School by continuing its support of the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies.

Part of the Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Pediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, the center provides advanced diagnostics, research and therapeutic modalities for children and adolescents with primary immunodeficiency, a group of disorders arising from defects in the immune system carried by the genes and characterized by infections that can be recurring, debilitating and chronic.

A portion of the funding will be used to create a physician education and public awareness campaign for South Florida. Center Director Elena E. Perez, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of clinical pediatrics, says the campaign will increase physician understanding of primary immunodeficiency diseases and help parents identify warning signs.

“One of the biggest challenges to the effective treatment of primary immunodeficiency diseases is delay in diagnosis,” said Perez. “All too often, affected children come to the attention of an immunologist only after repeated serious infections and hospitalizations. Raising awareness of immune system defects will help identify these patients sooner and lead to better outcomes and quality of life for patients and families.”

Perez says the Foundation’s support also will help develop state-of-the-art diagnostic testing for primary immunodeficiencies on the medical campus. “I am very grateful to the Jeffrey Modell Foundation for its commitment to our center and to making a difference for these families,” she said.

The Miller School’s diagnostic and research center is one of 125 centers worldwide that compose the Jeffrey Modell Centers Network. The Jeffrey Modell Foundation is a global non-profit organization dedicated to primary immunodeficiency research, physician education, patient support, public awareness, advocacy and newborn screening.

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