Department of Medicine

Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Research

Master
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Pediatric Track

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Research is a particularly strong feature of the Allergy and Immunology Program. In fact, with 7,000 sq. ft. of space is dedicated for both clinical and basic and translational research.

The A&I Clinical Laboratory located in the Feigin Center at Texas Children’s Hospital is a state-of-the-art, CAP-accredited and CLIA-approved clinical diagnostic facility. This general laboratory work area accommodates tissue culture and radioactive work as well as extensive flow cytometric work. Procedures performed in the laboratory include flow cytometry, surface and intracellular lymphocyte phenotyping, functional studies (LPA) and neutrophil oxidative burst studies.

The A&I Section of Immunology, Allergy & Rheumatology (IAR) is also home to Texas Children’s Center for Human Immunobiology directed by Dr. Jordan S. Orange. The center is a translational and basic science collaborative focused upon applying multiple cutting-edge technologies to human and immune cells. The center is also on the third floor of the Feigin Center. It houses several key technologies with an emphasis on flow cytometry, flow sorting, imaging cytometry along with the technical expertise for operation and maintenance. The center’s laboratories include a 400 sq. ft. microscopy facility in which three highly customized confocal microscopes are maintained. This even includes the first gated-stimulated emission-depleted super-resolution microscope in the United States.

This facility is located adjacent to the laboratory on the third floor of the Feigin Center. It has an independent heating and cooling system and is entirely under HEPA filtration with laminar airflow/ventilation systems to reduce interference with vibration-sensitive experiments. The entire facility was custom painted in light absorbent black, and flat black linoleum floors were utilized throughout. The facility is not a core facility and thus is utilized purely for projects conducted by the laboratory and invited collaborators. This has proven essential for obtaining sufficient independent repeats of 4-dimensional experiments. These types of experiments can require an entire day of imaging to capture sufficient experimental and control image sequences.

The facility is used in shifts with some laboratory members working in the day and others at night. This degree of access to quality imaging equipment is a prerequisite for the proposed work due to the sheer volume of high quality imaging that will be needed to address the analyses of serial killing and ADCC efficiency proposed in this application. The center, in concert with its faculty and that of the Section of IAR, enables unique translational research experiences for trainees.

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Medicine Track

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The A&I research laboratories at Baylor College of Medicine are within the Biology of Inflammation Center, which is overseen by Dr. David Corry. Dr. Corry’s Laboratory consists of 4,600 sq. ft. of space in the main Baylor research complex. Each 10-linear feet of laboratory bench includes a separate internet, telephone connection, and Macintosh computer. It is located near two shared instrument rooms of 600 sq. ft. each.

There are two AAALAC approved mouse facilities in the basement of the main Baylor research building which are used for these studies. One of the buildings represents a state-of-the-art 50,000 sq. ft. cage automated mouse facility with transgenic and other core facilities. This is also where the bulk of the animals will be kept. All Baylor labs and offices are linked by a computer network.

The Pulmonary Section has its own local network of HP, SGI, PC work station and PCs. Readily available are flow cytometry facilities, a microinjection and transgenic support laboratory, a microarray (“genechip” facility) and other equipment and specialized facilities. Laboratory facilities further include animal physiology and surgical suites, tissue culture laboratory, and sufficient bench space for approximately 20 full-time researchers.

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Food Allergy Center

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Dr. Carla M. Davis directs the Food Allergy Center, where highly sensitized patients with severe food allergic patients are diagnosed and treated. Food challenges and food desensitization procedures are administered in scheduled patients.

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Bone Marrow Transplant and Newborn Primary Immunodeficiency (PIDD) Screening Clinic

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Dr. Imelda C. Hanson directs the activities of the pediatric transplant center for infants with severe combined immunodeficiency identified by the Newborn Screening Program for SCID. By checking newborns for SCID before they leave the hospital gives a decided advantage for beneficial outcomes for SCID babies.

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Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium

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The Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital have joined forces to provide retrospective analysis of approximately 1000 bone marrow stem cells, stem cell therapies, as well as gene therapy. In addition, they conduct the multi-center prospective study of present methods of stem cell transplantation. Dr. William T. Shearer directs this NIH-funded program with the strong participation of Dr. Jordan S. Orange, Section Chief of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology.

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Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Human Immunobiology

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Dr. Jordan S. Orange directs a cadre of basic and translational researchers in an exciting new venture of exploring the untold powers of the innate immune system. This immune system is most likely responsible for the preservation of the human species from deadly virus attack, and the constantly evolving world of human cancer. A special feature of the center is the investigation of the molecular basis of primary immunodeficiencies. In addition, the natural killer cell biology and functions that may actually eclipse the strength of the human adaptive immune system of antibodies and T cells.

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Electives

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Electives include Bone Marrow Transplant, Rheumatology, Dermatology and Pulmonary Medicine.

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Research Projects

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Research projects undertaken in our section involve studies in:

  • Immunology
  • Lymphocyte function in primary and secondary immunodeficiencies including AIDS
  • Food allergies
  • Cell membrane
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Vaccine development and mucosal immunity
  • Use of bone marrow transplantation in the treatment of primary immunodeficiencies
  • Clinical research trials in patients with compromised immunity (MPH optional)
  • Molecular and cellular basis of primary immunodeficiencies
  • Cell biology of the immune system