DEPARTMENT OF CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY
Immunological disorders, autoimmune diseases, allergy, immunodeficiency and other disorders of the immune system affect approximately 10-20% of the population of India. These chronic disorders affecting mostly young individuals are incurable at present and are responsible for chronic debilitation, life-long illness, and premature mortality. In contrast with other chronic disorders like diabetes and hypertension, treatment of many of these disorders is prohibitively expensive (at least 10-15 times higher), out of the reach of an average Indian family. This combined with lack of proper facilities for their management in both urban and rural India, these disorders contribute significantly to disability/handicap, emotional and economic burden to the family and are one of the important factors for pushing the family into penury. The costs to the society are also high in the form of human resource loss due to chronic disabling disease in young individuals and high cost of their treatment and rehabilitation. There is a huge unmet need for establishment of centers for the management of these disorders to control and contain the future pandemic of immunological disorders.
The Department of Clinical Immunology is the only central government center in South India provides comprehensive patient care services, imparts superspeciality training and conducts patient centric research in the area of immune mediated disorders since its inception in July 2009. Our mission is to understand the causes for the disease occurrence and the reasons for treatment failure and relapse of these disorders in order to provide optimal patient health by fostering basic, clinical and translational research; training physicians and scientists for academic careers in immunology; and providing compassionate, state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic care to children and adults with immunologic diseases.
The department runs OPD services (2 general OPDs and 5 speciality clinics) on all working days of the week, a daycare facility and 16 bed inpatient ward. Each month more than 5,000 patients avail various patient care services of the department. The immunotherapy unit to treat refractory immunological diseases with cell-based therapy has been commissioned and likely to be operational again after repairs. In addition to clinical care, the department offers immunodiagnostic laboratory services (Immunoflorescence, ELISA, Nephelometry, flowcytometry and PCR) utilized by all the clinical departments of the institute. This includes HLA typing for the institute transplant program.
The department has an active academic program in the form of DM (Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology) and PhD (Clinical Immunology) with an intake capacity of 2 DM trainees and PhD scholars each per annum since 2009. The department has the unique distinction of the first joint / cotutelle PhD program in India with the University of Paris-7, France.
In addition to its clinical and academic activities, the department has state of the art research facilities with substantial international and national funding. It has many international research collaborations (France, Germany, USA) including the collaboration for joint PhD. The Clinical Immunology laboratory of the department established under DST-FIST program of the Govt. of India is actively engaged in basic and translational research in Immunology. The Department is well known for its research in the field of autoimmune rheumatic disorders, notably immungenetics, pharmacogenomics and immunopathogenesis of these diseases and their management with a large number of publications in prestigious, high impact international scientific journals. The research focus of the department is collaborative, multicentric interdisciplinary research in understanding the pathology of autoimmune rheumatic disorders, the reasons for differential responses to therapy and adverse outcome and healthcare economics related to these disorders.