Immunological disorders affect nearly 10- 20 % of Indian population. These conditions, which include asthma, type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis and scleroderma, lead to chronic debilitation, life-long illness, and premature mortality while resulting in insurmountable medical costs. Excessive or depressed immune function plays a key role in these autoimmune diseases, in the rejection of transplanted organs and tissues, and in the body's inability to fight invading cancer cells.
Although these types of diseases affect a large percentage of the population, few specific therapies and mechanisms target their prevention and cure. Breakthroughs in science have an advanced basic understanding of the immune system, but such breakthroughs have often lain fallow because the traditional structures of medicine have not promoted the easy transfer of ideas generated in the laboratory to the bedside of the patient.
The Department of Clinical Immunology has been functioning since July 2004 at JIPMER. Clinicians at JIPMER have concluded that these diverse diseases should be investigated and managed under a cohesive paradigm and classified together according to their common characteristics. Enhanced opportunities have enabled clinicians and investigators to translate cutting-edge basic science into treatments covering the entire spectrum of diseases of the immune system.
Ours is the only center in South India which provides such comprehensive patient care and research facilities. The mission of the Department of Clinical Immunology is to promote the understanding and treatment of immunologic 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 of adults with immunologic diseases. In addition, the department has state of the art research facilities with substantial international (INSERM, France) and national extramural research funding. From the academic year (2009-2010), two postdoctoral teaching and training programs, DM (Clinical Immunology) and Ph.D. (Immunology) have been started in the specialty. We also have an international cotutelle /joint Ph.D. program with the University of Paris, France.
On 21.06.2014 The Department of Clinical Immunology released a total of 11 documents consisting of clinical and therapeutic protocols, diagnostic protocols, standard operating procedures for immunological laboratory diagnosis and research and guidelines for workplace safety. Also, patient counseling protocols have been published for optimizing patient care.
The Center for Clinical Immunology offers a milieu in which medical science can apply its finest tools and talents to diagnose, treat and cure disorders of the immune system. We are now in the process of establishing facilities for stem cell transplantation (SCT) and immunotherapy for allergic, autoimmune and malignant disorders. It is hoped that with the establishment of these services, JIPMER will be one of the leading centers in India to offer immunotherapy for autoimmune and other immune-mediated disorders.