Centers and Institutes

Brown Center for Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy

The Brown Center for Immunotherapy at Indiana University School of Medicine was established in December 2016 with a $30 million gift from Indianapolis entrepreneur and IU School of Medicine alumnus Don Brown. The mission of the Brown Center is to develop new treatments and cure disease through the use of cell-based immunotherapies.

Working in partnership with leaders from private industry, researchers at the center will improve the application of cellular therapy for cancers and pioneer use of this powerful technology for other diseases. The center ultimately seeks to develop innovative methods to make this highly specialized therapy accessible to large numbers of patients so it makes the greatest impact on patients’ lives.

Researching immunotherapy for cancer and neurodegenerative disorders

The Brown Center for Immunotherapy will initially focus on multiple myeloma and breast cancer, two diseases for which IU School of Medicine and its clinical partner Indiana University Health have a strong foundation of talent, sizable patient populations and existing resources that can be leveraged to maximize impact.

Building on IU School of Medicine expertise

With meaningful experience and related expertise as well as strong infrastructure and institutional commitment, IU School of Medicine is primed to make significant contributions to the understanding and application of cell-based immunotherapies.

  • Experience. Since Dr. Hal Broxmeyer’s pioneering use of cord blood transplants, IU School of Medicine has been building on the use of cellular approaches to treat disease. The Brown Center for Immunotherapy will further advance this experience.
  • Expertise. IU School of Medicine is home to internationally recognized faculty members in fields such as myeloma and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Facilities and infrastructure. IU School of Medicine is home to an NIH-funded national laboratory that has played a vital role in producing the gene vectors and ensuring the safety of some of the country’s most successful and novel immunotherapy trials to date.
  • Institutional commitment. Indiana University is making a monumental investment in personnel, infrastructure and technology as part of the Precision Health Initiative, a five-year, $120 million program focused on tailoring treatment for individual patients through a variety of approaches. The Brown Center for Immunotherapy will leverage these investments.

Researchers will also investigate potential opportunities to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders with immunotherapies. A growing body of evidence suggests that the body’s immune response is important for preventing the development of Alzheimer’s, making it an obvious target for immunotherapy.

About Don Brown

Don BrownDon Brown, MD, is one of Indiana’s most successful and respected entrepreneurs, and his ties to Indiana University run deep. He earned his Bachelor of Science in physics from Indiana University-Bloomington in 1978 and later enrolled in a combined MD/PhD program at IU School of Medicine with the intent of becoming a laboratory researcher. After deciding that career path was not a good fit, he switched his focus to computer science. He earned a Master of Science in 1982 before finishing medical school in 1985. Learn more about Dr. Don Brown.