The rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) now poses the greatest threat to global health. Inflammation is a common element in almost all these diseases, including obesity, allergies, asthma, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative conditions. A substantial component of the risk of all NCDs is programmed in early life, and early environmental effects on the developing immune system play an especially important role in promoting inflammation with lifelong consequences for many organ systems.
To tackle the problem, we formed in-FLAME, the International Inflammation Network in 2012. This is an interdisciplinary collaboration (currently comprising 125 experts across 19 countries) dedicated to understanding the risk factors for inflammation and devising strategies to prevent them, particularly in early life. The inflame network is a sub-group of the global health division of the World Universities Network (WUN)
General goals of the in-FLAME network:
- This network addresses the risk factors, pathways and strategies to overcome the rising propensity for chronic inflammatory disorders with a focus on early effects on the developing immune system and the consequences of inflammation in early life for the health and function of many organ systems.
- We address the risk factors, pathways and strategies to overcome the broad range of inter-related conditions that are associated with inflammation in early life and throughout the life course including obesity, allergy, asthma, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative conditions.
- Our global network brings together a diverse interdisciplinary group (across many systems) tasked with developing an integrated program of population studies, biological studies and intervention studies ultimately aimed at preventing inflammation and the burden of subsequent disease.
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