Seattle Children's is a parent organization of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and one of only a few hospitals in the country researching and treating patients with immune deficiency diseases and leading science in developing new diagnostic techniques to combat them.
By the early 1990s, Children's researchers, such as Dr. Hans D. Ochs, professor of Pediatrics at Children's and the University of Washington and Dr. David Rawlings, head of Children's division of Immunology and associate professor of Pediatrics and Immunology at the University of Washington, were making the connection between immune deficiencies and genes.
New Treatment Possibilities
Physicians at Children's and other institutions across the country are using improved methods for gene sequencing and the human genome project to identify the genetic basis of many previously unknown immune disorders.
Gene therapy is now considered a possible treatment for immune deficiency diseases. Children’s is building a gene sequencing service unlike any other in the region and serves as an international center for prenatal and neonatal testing, and for testing of adults to identify carriers of immune deficiency disorders.
Dr. Ochs is the primary investigator for a $12 million grant administered by the U.S. Immune Deficiency Network (USIDnet), an international consortium of 50 researchers and specialists in the field studying primary immune deficiency diseases. It also funds registries to track the long-term health of patients and provides an anonymous repository that makes DNA or cell lines generated from selected patients available to study molecular defects of these diseases.