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About CUPIC: An Introduction

The Centre for Understanding and Preventing Infection in Children (CUPIC) is a unique internationally-competitive research facility which brings together an exceptional team of basic biomedical, clinical and population health scientists to focus on a problem of global importance -- childhood infectious diseases.

Even in developed countries, infections are the third leading cause of death in children.The World Health Organization (WHO) states that "infectious diseases are now the world's leading killer of children and young adults ... accounting for more than 13 million deaths a year ... over half of them under five."

The CUPIC program is unique in its focus on innate immunity in children. Despite much global effort, we still know very little about how the healthy child is protected from infectious disease. Children are exposed to a myriad of infectious microbes, but serious infections in individuals and epidemics of childhood infection occur rarely — each is an opportunity for the CUPIC enterprise to improve understanding of innate immunity and to make breakthroughs in important public health issues, including bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases, and contribute to new immunization policy and practice.

CUPIC's ultimate goal is to develop new diagnostics and therapies to improve innate immunity and/or prevent infections. Enabled by leading-edge technologies and state-of-the-art core facilities, CUPIC researchers work to save lives and contribute to a healthier society.