Allergy and Infectious Diseases
The paediatric department within the Wright Fleming Institute based on the St Mary’s campus of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has, over the last twenty years, developed a programme of bench to bedside research in infectious disease and latterly also allergy. The Paediatric Research Unit located adjacent to the paediatric wards in the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother building has two outpatient consulting rooms, two inpatient beds, a clinical investigation room primarily devoted to lung function testing and a laboratory for initial preparation of biological specimens prior to transfer to the research labs. It has a state-of-the-art sleep monitoring facility and sleep medicine is becoming an expanding research area overseen by Dr Parviz Habibi together with Mr James Di Pasquale, our senior polysomnography scientist.
The paediatric intensive care unit at St Mary’s hospital has worked very closely with the academic department particularly investigating severe sepsis and strong links have been developed with developing countries with a particular focus on Kilifi in Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa. This has particularly facilitated research into tuberculosis with or without HIV, and investigation of immune dysfunction in malnourished children.
The Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is a recognised Academic Health Sciences Centre and, with the Biomedical Research Centre, is facilitating the expansion of research programmes. Paediatrics was a major theme within the Biomedical Research Centre application. Infectious disease, asthma and allergy were prominent components of this theme.