The CPI works on a range of Immune Deficiency, Autoimmune and Autoinflammatory diseases (see Research Projects). Some key examples of these include:

Autoimmune Kidney Disease

Kidneys most important function in the body is to act as the filter of the body, remove wastes in the blood and keeping blood cells and protein in the bloodstream. It does this by using a tiny set of looping blood vessels called the glomerulus (plural glomeruli), which are contained in nephrons, the filtering units of the kidneys. In autoimmune kidney disease, the immune system starts to attack the kidneys instead of protecting the body from invading microbes and infection.

Common Variable Immunodeficiency

Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) is the most frequently diagnosed primary immunodeficiency disease, where a part of the immune system is absent or dysfunctional. In people with CVID, the B cells are affected. B cells are a specialised white blood cell in the immune system that protects the body from infection. When B cells mature, they produce proteins called antibodies (or immunoglobulins). These antibodies can recognise patterns on foreign particles (eg viruses) and form an important part of the immune response.

Diabetes - Type I

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. We do not know what causes this auto-immune reaction. Type 1 diabetes is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors. There is no cure and it cannot be prevented.

Type 1 diabetes:

Haemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)

HLH is a rare disorder of the immune system where there is an over-production and activation of normal immune cells. These over activated immune cells cause inflammation and damage of healthy tissues including the liver, spleen, brain and other tissues.There are two forms of HLH, one is the primary or familial form where the condition is inherited (genetic cause) and the other is the secondary or acquired form where the cause is not genetic but is instead due to an underlying condition (examples include immunodeficiency, systemic infection, etc).

Hyper IgE Syndrome

Autosomal dominant hyper IgE Syndrome (AD-HIES) is also known as Autosomal Dominant Hyperimmunoglobulin E Syndrome is a very rare, genetic disease. It is characterised by abnormally high levels of a group of antibodies known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the blood. Normally, IgE helps the body to fight infections, especially parasitic worms. It also plays a key role in allergies (eg hayfever, atopic dermatitis and allergic asthma). People with this condition experience frequent bouts of pneumonia that can often result in the formation of air-filled cysts in the lungs.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)

SCID is a rare inherited primary immunodeficiency disorder that appears during infancy. The immune system is composed of white blood cells of which half are T cells. These T cells play a vital role in fighting infection. They also assist another type of white blood cell known as B cells to produce antibodies (or immunoglobulins). These T and B cells do not function properly in individuals with SCID. In many cases, the affected individual is born with no T cells at all. Without T cells the B cells cannot make antibodies.


Sarcoidosis is an autoimmune disease that leads to inflammation that can affect almost any organ in the body, but mostly the lungs, lymph nodes and/or skin are affected. The characteristic feature of sarcoidosis is the formation of granulomas, which are microscopic clumps of cells, in affected tissues. These granulomas can alter the normal structure and impair the function of the affected organ(s).

The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. It is most likely due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors.

Sjögren’s Syndrome

Sjögren’s (“show-grins”) syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the moisture producing glands in the body. The most common symptoms are dry eyes and mouth. In more serious cases it can cause the dysfunction of other organs, including the kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas and/or the central nervous system. There is also an increased risk of developing lymphoma, a cancer of immune cells, lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell.

There are two types of Sjögren’s syndrome.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), more commonly known as lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease with a broad range of clinical manifestations. It is characterised by acute and chronic inflammation in various tissues of the body including the skin, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs. The symptoms can range from relatively mild to life-threatening. In some, exposure to a trigger including certain medications can cause drug-induced lupus. These symptoms usually disappear once the person has ceased taking the medication.