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Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy & Immunology

 

The Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy & Immunology is part of the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Health System/Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital.  The Division is a large, multidisciplinary group focused on the pathogenesis and therapy of lung diseases that affect children, especially cystic fibrosis, asthma and other respiratory conditions..

A major strength of the Division is our basic science research to improve our understanding of cystic fibrosis, asthma, and other pulmonary diseases.   Studies are active in the areas of salt transport across the cells that line the airways, inflammation in the lung, the genetic influences on lung disease, epithelial cell biology, the effects of obesity on asthma, and the effect of toxins in the lung.   The division has special interest in identifying treatments that can modify the diseases we study. The division supports an extensive animal core facility that provides animal models of disease to our own investigators and others at other institutions, as well as fluorescent microscopy facilities that allow live cells to be examined over time under the microscope.  In addition, there is a strong component of patient-based research in cystic fibrosis, asthma, immunodeficiency diseases, sleep abnormalities, and the effects of mold and environmental agents on the lung.  The division tests candidate therapeutic approaches to disease, some of them developed in our own basic science laboratories.  Some of our investigators also study population trends in the very large databases that have been built in this division over the years.

We provide a comprehensive clinical service for a referral population that covers northern Ohio, the Midwest region and beyond. The service includes an inpatient care and consultation service and outpatient care on-site and at our satellite offices in Mayfield Heights, Westlake, Medina, Twinsburg, and Firelands. Patients with all types of breathing problems are seen in our clinics.   Adult and pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis are seen in a multidisciplinary clinic by physician scientists who lead the search for new treatments of this disease.  Our CF clinic is supported by nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, social workers, and specialists from other divisions including endocrinology, gastroenterology, and psychiatry.  Many patients with CF come to our Center from other states. The Asthma Center provides consultative services to patients with asthma and their physicians, and can assume ongoing care of such patients by mutual agreement with the referring physician.  The Division is home to a state-of-the-art sleep center where patients are seen in a multidisciplinary clinic that is staffed by sleep physicians with expertise in sleep-disordered breathing and behavioal issues. In addition to caring for patients with allergic rhinitis, our Allergists/Immunologists specialize in seeing patients with drug allergies, asthma, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, and eosinophilic esophagitis. All forms of respiratory tract disorders and lung diseases are also served in our clinics and inpatient services. 

The KC and Ginny Bryan Pulmonary Diagnostic Center is a state-of-the-art cystic fibrosis and asthma diagnostic facility at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital/University Hospitals of Cleveland.   Funding for this facility was made possible by a generous donation from the Brown Family.  This facility focuses on noninvasive testing of lung function and biochemistry, and provides both clinical support services and support for patient-based research.  Staff in this facility provide many services, including infant and adult pulmonary function testing, bronchoprovocation testing, exercise testing, methacholine challenge testing, sputum induction, exhaled nitric oxide measurements, measurements on exhaled breath condensate, nasal potential difference measurements, nasal curettage, percutaneous allergy extract skin tresting, and bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage. The services provided at ths facility aid in diagnosing individuals with rare lung diseases that cannot be diagnosed at many other facilities.

An important part of our mission is the training of young physicians and scientists, both in clinical pediatric pulmonology and in the basic sciences in our labs. Our Division is home to one of the oldest and largest Pediatric Pulmonology fellowship training programs in the country. Nearly 7% of all pediatric pulmonologists have trained at our institution. We are interested in training the next generation of physician scientists. Our fellows have published numerous manuscripts, and 89% have secured extramural grant support since 1995. Many fellows have won awards for their research. Our graduates include 23 CF Center Directors, 22 Division Chiefs, and 4 Department Chairs.

More details on all these programs are available at the links above. Visit us often!