Immunology has come a long way, from its early religious beginnings thousands of years ago, to the explosion of immunological data in the 21st century. Thanks to discoveries in immunology, our world has seen tremendous progress in how we understand and treat disease. However, a lot of unmet clinical needs remain, which require focused, real-time collaboration at the clinical and scientific research forefronts. Moreover, the current exponential growth in the generation of research data makes it impossible to handle, analyze, visualize, and interpret such data without the use of advanced computational tools. We think immunoinformatics- a discipline at the intersection of immunology and computer science- will greatly increase efficiency in research productivity and disease treatment. This perspective paper aims to emphasize the role of immunoinformatics toward pushing the boundaries of immunology research. It will also illustrate its clinical applications, including disease prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, monitoring, as well as in drug discovery. We believe informatics approaches will be implemented increasingly more frequently in research. Thus, here we also discuss a set of fundamental prerequisites to facilitate the efficient and ethical integration of informatics in research and ensure immunological advancements provide maximum benefits to society.
Available online 12 December 2021, 100007