WAO recognition for Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology in Birmingham
The West Midlands Allergy and Immunology (A&I) Centre at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with the Regional Severe Asthma Service, the Occupational Asthma Service and the Institute of Immunology & Immunotherapy and School of Pharmacy at the University of Birmingham, has been designated as a World Allergy Organization Centre of Excellence 2020.
Professor Mamidipudi Thirumala Krishna, who led the bid, said “It is a great honour for our centre to receive this recognition. We are a large multidisciplinary and multi-professional group committed to high quality patient-centred service to our multi-ethnic population, delivering cutting-edge research, high impact publications, and education and training to British and international graduates.”
Allergy and Immunology services and research have a long tradition in Birmingham. The late Professor Denis Stanworth had a major role in the discovery of IgE in the 1950s. Professor Sherwood Burge established clinics to serve the city’s industrial lung disease. The occupational asthma service and research is now led by Dr Gareth Walters. Dr Adel Mansur has developed and leads the regional severe asthma service and serves as a PI for multiple national and international clinical trials in novel biologic therapies. Professor David Wraith is Director of Institute of Immunology & Immunotherapy and is known internationally for his ground breaking research in T cell biology and antigen specific immunotherapy. Professor Krishna leads academic allergy with research interests in epidemiology, anaphylaxis, drug allergy and allergic diseases in the BAME population with collaborative links within UK, in USA and multiple Low Income and Low Middle Income Countries (LICs and LMICs). Professor Alex Richter leads the University’s Immunology laboratory and undergraduate teaching. Professor John Marriott leads The School of Pharmacy, with his team committed to drug allergy.
The IQAS and QPIDS accredited A&I service at UHB has its origins in Professor Ron Thompson’s pioneering NHS Immunology department founded 50 years ago, which trained many of the first generation of UK Immunologists. The current service retains the founding principles of a world class clinical service closely integrated with the laboratory, with a strong emphasis on training and education. The team is led by Dr Aarnoud Huissoon, with fellow consultants (Prof. Krishna, Dr R Baretto, Prof A Richter, Dr A Ekbote and Dr S Hackett) and specialist nurses (Mrs J Heslegrave, Mrs C Melchior, Ms H Clifford, Mrs C Kerrigan and Mrs H Creed), and the clinical laboratory service is led by Mrs S Beck and Mrs S Gorrie.
Looking forward, the shifting demographic and diversity of the local population and the resulting changing patterns of disease have been identified as vital areas of research and clinical service development. “We are committed to global allergy care through our international collaborative links with LICs and LMICs. Actively addressing health inequalities in the BAME population is a high priority for our Trust and the University