The Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF), in partnership with CSL Behring, announced the establishment of the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center at a dedication ceremony today at Duke Children’s Hospital. The Jeffrey Modell Foundation is a global non-profit organization dedicated to primary immunodeficiency (PI) research, physician education, patient support, public awareness, advocacy and newborn screening. The center will serve the Triangle area and North Carolina’s Piedmont Region, offering advanced diagnostic evaluation to patients with a suspected PI, a group of disorders arising from defects in the immune system carried by the genes and characterized by infections that can be recurring, persistent, debilitating and chronic. Dr. John Sleasman, chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Duke University School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, will serve as the center's inaugural director.
The Jeffrey Modell Foundation was established after Fred and Vicki Modell lost their son, Jeffrey, at the age of 15 in 1986 from complications of his PI. Since Jeffrey's death, the Modells have successfully testified before U.S. Congress on numerous occasions to put PI on the national research agenda and have sponsored physician education conferences in cities around the world. The center that is being opened at Duke is one of many that the Modell Foundation is developing internationally for clinical care and research to find treatments and cures.
"It is with great pride and pleasure that Fred and I establish this Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center with Dr. Sleasman at Duke Children’s," said Vicki Modell. "While we have many goals for this new center, one of the most important is for the earliest and most precise diagnosis, followed by appropriate and meaningful treatments of primary immunodeficiency."
The Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Research Center at Duke will be part of The Jeffrey Modell Centers Network (JMCN), which comprises 125 Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Centers worldwide and more than 603 expert immunologists at 253 academic teaching hospitals and medical schools in 84 countries, spanning six continents.