The Pediatric Allergy Immunology Unit, Advanced Pediatrics Centre, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh is India’s (and arguably South Asia’s) leading centre for Pediatric Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. It was the first, and remains till date the only specialized, postdoctoral teaching unit for Pediatric Immunology in the country. We are the only Indian centre offering the 3-year postdoctoral (DM) training programme in Pediatric Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. This programme was initiated in January 2014. We have trained 8 Fellows so far – 10 more are training with us at this time.
Our unit is especially known for its work on Kawasaki Disease (KD). We diagnosed our first patient in 1994 and he was the first child in India to receive intravenous immunoglobulin for treatment of KD. Over the last 26 years we have contributed significantly to clinical, basic and translational research in this field. The American Heart Association (AHA) 2017 Guidelines on Kawasaki Disease have cited 5 of our original publications. I am amongst the invited faculty for the forthcoming Annual Conference of the AHA, Dallas, Texas, November 14-16, 2020.
Our department has contributed to various aspects in both rheumatology and basic immunology so far; the development of the antibody agent (anti-IL6 receptor antibody, tocilizumab) and the elucidation of immune semaphorins, enterobacteria, interferon signature in immunological diseases, and the genetic architecture of rheumatic diseases. Thus, the elucidation of pathophysiology and the development of promising therapy based on basic and multi-omics research results are the traditional philosophy of our group. Furthermore, we would like to contribute to clinical rheumatology by analyzing the big clinical and multi-omics data and train up specialist in this field.
In research, we continue to promote basic and multi-omics research in immunology and rheumatology. In some researches, new research or therapeutic seeds may be realized. We continuously train about 4 to 6 specialists in rheumatology per year. And many of them study basic and/or clinical researches in the postgraduate school. In the clinic, we expand outpatient care unit and treat about a hundred patients a day. We also continue to conduct clinical trials to develop new treatments.