Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and Jeffrey Modell Foundation Work Together to Improve Immune System Diseases in Children

Press Release – St. Petersburg, Fla. – May 23, 2018 – Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the Jeffrey Modell Foundation are committed to diagnosing, researching and finding cures for pediatric immune system diseases. The Modell Foundation, which has given more than $400,000 since 2016 to support research initiatives at Johns Hopkins All Children’s, is now renaming a space in the hospital’s infusion center.

That space, named the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies, highlights the dedication of both organizations to a program focused on the early diagnosis and study of genetic immune deficiencies and therapies targeting these rare inherited diseases. The new center is led by Jolan Walter, M.D., Ph.D., the Robert A. Good Endowed Chair and division chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at the University of South Florida and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Dr. Walter is also the lead investigator for the first national genetic screening study to aid in diagnosis of patients with WHIM syndrome, a rare, chronic and life-threatening primary immunodeficiency; this clinical study is sponsored by the Jeffrey Modell Foundation and the X4 Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biotechnology company.

Vicki and Fred Modell established the Jeffrey Modell Foundation in 1987 in memory of their son Jeffrey, who died at age 15 from complications of primary immunodeficiency – a genetic condition that is chronic, serious, and often fatal. The global nonprofit organization remains committed to early diagnosis, meaningful treatments and, ultimately, cures through research, physician education, public awareness, advocacy, patient support and newborn screening. Its network includes more than 700 physicians at 356 academic institutions across 86 countries.

Dr. Walter, an expert in combined immunodeficiencies and immune dysregulation, was recruited to USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Johns Hopkins All Children’s from Harvard in 2016 and continues to build a team to serve the Tampa Bay community, Florida and beyond with state-of-the-art diagnostics, in-depth molecular research, and leading care. Research supported by the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies helps promote the team’s mission.

About Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg is a leader in children’s health care, combining a legacy of compassionate care focused solely on children since 1926 with the innovation and experience of one of the world’s leading health care systems. The 259-bed teaching hospital, ranked as a U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital, stands at the forefront of discovery, leading innovative research to cure and prevent childhood diseases while training the next generation of pediatric experts. With a network of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care centers and collaborative care provided by All Children’s Specialty Physicians at regional hospitals, Johns Hopkins All Children’s brings care closer to home. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital consistently keeps the patient and family at the center of care while continuing to expand its mission in treatment, research, education and advocacy. For more information, visit
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