Consortium biology in immunology: The perspective from the Immunological Genome Project

Christophe Benoist, Lewis Lanier, Miriam Merad, Diane Mathis, Jeff Ericson, Michio Painter, Scott Davis, Catherine Laplace, Gordon Hyatt, Henry Paik, Katie Rothamel, Richard Cruse, Graeme Doran, Tracy Heng, Natasha Asinovski, Adriana Ortiz-Lopes, Ayla Ergun, Daniel Gray, Ei Wakamatsu, Jonathan HillMichael Mingueneau, Daniela Cipolletta, Hideyuki Yoshida, Nadia Cohen, Edy Kim, Patrick Brennan, Lydia Lynch, Michael Brenner, James Costello, Jim J. Collins, David Blair, Michael Dustin, Jamie Knell, Edward Yang, Adam Best, Laura Shaw, Andrew Doedens, Ananda Goldrath, Susan Shinton, Yan Zhou, Randy Hardy, Vladimir Jojic, Sara Mostafavi, Daphne Koller, Radu Jianu, David Laidlaw, Natalie Bezman, Joseph Sun, Yanan Zhu, Deborah Hendricks, Yosuke Kamimura, Gundula Min-Oo, Deborah Hendricks, Maelig Morvan, Yosuke Kamimura, Tsukasa Nabekura, Viola Lam, Charles Kim, Melanie Greter, Julie Helft, Andrew Chow, Milena Bogunovic, Arthur Mortha, Jeremy Price, Daigo Hashimoto, Jennifer Miller, Priyanka Sathe, Aleksey Chudnovskiy, Yonit Lavin, Juliana Idoyaga, Emmanuel Gautier, Claudia Jakubzick, June D'Angelo, Gwendolyn Randolph, Tal Shay, Aviv Regev, Roi Gazit, Derrick Rossi, Taras Kreslawsky, Harald von Bohmer, Angelique Bellemare-Pelletier, Kutlu Elpek, Lotte Spelv, Anne Fletcher, Deepali Malhotra, Viviana Cremasco, Shannon Turley, Francis Kim, Tata Nageswara Rao, Amy Wagers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Although the field has a long collaborative tradition, immunology has made less use than genetics of 'consortium biology', wherein groups of investigators together tackle large integrated questions or problems. However, immunology is naturally suited to large-scale integrative and systems-level approaches, owing to the multicellular and adaptive nature of the cells it encompasses. Here, we discuss the value and drawbacks of this organization of research, in the context of the long-running 'big science' debate, and consider the opportunities that may exist for the immunology community. We position this analysis in light of our own experience, both positive and negative, as participants of the Immunological Genome Project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-740
Number of pages7
JournalNature Reviews Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


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