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Up, up and away

Dr. Sudhir Gupta and Piedad Concannon
“Early recognition and diagnosis of PI can save lives," says Dr. Sudhir Gupta, who released balloons with Piedad Concannon.

Half a million in the U.S. suffer from primary immune deficiencies

In celebration of World PI Week, UC Irvine Health immunologist Dr. Sudhir Gupta and his staff released 100 helium-filled balloons into the sky in a gesture of worldwide support for debilitating diseases of the immune system.

Gupta is director of the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Center for Primary Immunodeficiency, located at Gottschalk Medical Plaza on the University of California, Irvine campus. Since its opening in 2009, the Modell center has addressed one of the largest issues in healthcare—undiagnosed immune system-diseases in children and adults.

More than half a million people in the United States and 15 million worldwide suffer from primary immune deficiencies.

The Modell center is one of the few clinics in the nation dedicated specifically to providing diagnosis and care for those born with improperly functioning immune systems. It’s one of 50 worldwide that are sponsored by the Jeffrey Modell Foundation and Grifols SA, a global healthcare company that provides therapeutic treatments to immune-deficient patients who lack insurance.

“Early recognition and diagnosis of PI can save lives and improve health outcomes,” said Gupta, center director and chief of the UC Irvine Health School of Medicine's division of basic and clinical immunology.