The CARINA (CAtalyst Reducing ImmuNe Ageing) Network is a new collaborative network for researchers working on the immune system throughout the life course. Funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the CARINA Network brings together researchers from a wide range of disciplines and career stages to identify the priority areas for a better understanding of immunity and ageing, and to work in partnership to improve the quantity and quality of human life.
CARINA is one of 11 networks funded by MRC and BBSRC aimed at transforming ageing research in the UK. Visit the UK Ageing Network website to learn more about the initiative.
Build a collaborative network with researchers and experts from many different sectors
Map the key research questions in immune ageing
Investigate how to address them through an interdisciplinary approach
The CARINA Network’s membership includes over 90 researchers from different areas of expertise. Together, these researchers are sharing their knowledge, skills and experience to create a holistic and collaborative approach to researching the immune system as it ages.
The Management Group of the CARINA Network, led by Professor Arne Akbar, directs the network by identifying new research strategies and ensuring that the Network is facilitating a novel approach to ageing research through collaboration and knowledge exchange.
The CARINA Network is supported by an independent Scientific Advisory Board, with representatives from academia, clinicians, and public and patient groups. The Scientific Advisory Board guides the network and ensures that its activity is as inclusive and interdisciplinary as possible.
The British Society for Immunology has a leading role in supporting the network through provision of project management, events support, communications expertise and patient and public involvement (PPI).
Ageing and immunity
Most parts of the immune system change as we get older. Different cells and organs respond to different threats, and the efficacy of these responses varies according to the age of the individual. Studies suggest that immunity declines with age, making it harder to mount an effective immune response to infection. Older people are more likely to experience severe outcomes upon infection with pathogens that have not been encountered previously, which has become increasingly apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With an increasingly ageing population, further understanding of the changes to the immune system throughout life could help to identify new routes to support ageing populations to experience healthier lives for longer. The CARINA Network seeks to achieve this by bringing together researchers and experts specialising in a wide range of areas related to ageing and working in variety of sectors including medical, immunology, nutrition, industry and charity.
Stay up to date
Read a summary of what we got up to at our recent in-person cross-sector meeting here.