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Center for Basic and Clinical Immunology (Naples, Italy)

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The Center for Basic and Clinical Immunology (CISI) of the University of Naples Federico II is by definition a multidepartmental structure of the University of Naples Federico II. Its mission is to bring together allergists, clinical immunologists, dermatologists, pediatricians and basic immunologists from different backgrounds (medicine, pulmonology, pediatrics, dermatology and immunology) to foster basic and clinical research in allergic and immunologic disorders, and to provide clinical care of patients with these disorders. CISI’s mission also includes training of post-doctoral fellows in Allergy and Clinical Immunology and in Dermatology, and PhD students from different countries. Lastly, CISI is actively engaged with patients’ organizations to improve awareness of these conditions among health authorities and in the general public.

Infrastructure: CISI uses a total surface area of approx. 1,660 m2  divided as follows: outpatients clinics 300 m2, laboratories 550 m2, common facilities and equipment 320 m2, lecture hall, meeting area and fellows room 180 m2, administration 80 m2, and other 230 m2.

Research activity: The research activity of CISI focuses on allergic disorders (asthma, allergic rhinitis, urticaria and angioedema), immunodeficiencies, immunology and immunopathology, dermatologic disorders (atopic and contact dermatitis, psoriasis, photoallergy, and mastocytosis), and pediatric immune diseases (asthma, atopic dermatitis, angioedema and congenital immunodeficiencies). This translational research activity benefits from samples obtained from cohorts of patients observed in the clinics.

Departments involved: By definition, CISI is an interdepartmental platform. Four Departments are involved: Department of Medicine (G. Marone, G. Spadaro, M.R. Galdiero, G. Varricchi and S. Loffredo), Department of Pediatrics (C. Pignata and F. Santamaria), Department of Pathology and Italian National Research Council (CNR) (G. Matarese and G. Marone), and Department of Dermatology (A. Balato and G. Monfrecola).

Governance: CISI has an independent budget and administration. The Administrative Director is Dr. Roberto Bifulco and the Assistant Administrator is Dr. Anna Ferraro.

Clinical activities: A mission of CISI is to integrate excellence in the clinical care of adult and young patients affected by allergic and immunologic disorders with research. In the outpatient clinics, large cohorts of adult and young patients affected by allergic disorders (asthma, allergic rhinitis, urticaria, angioedema, atopic and contact dermatitis, and mastocytosis) are monitored in synergism by allergists, clinical immunologists, dermatologists and pediatricians. This scenario reflects the interdepartmental structure of CISI and is in line with the WAO mission.

Education and training: CISI is active in education and training of students from different countries. The Training Center in Allergy and Clinical Immunology is directed by Prof. Arturo Genovese, a member and former director of CISI. This program recruits annually five fellows in Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The Training Program in Dermatology, directed by Prof. Giuseppe Monfrecola, recruits five fellows annually.

Prof. Gianni Marone is the Director of a PhD program in Clinical and Experimental Medicine, which enrolls six students a year, and provides education in basic clinical immunology focusing on allergic and immunologic disorders. All three educational programs are open to students worldwide in the line with the mission of WAO (see attached letters from the Directors of these programs).

Advocacy: We will continue to extend national and international collaborations with patients’ organizations and patient groups active in the field of allergic and immune disorders. In particular, we collaborate with the Associazione Immunodeficienze Primitive (AIP) chaired by Dr. Alessandro Segato and the Associazione Paziente con Angioedema chaired by Dr. Pietro Mantovano. In addition, Dr. Anna Balato is a founder member of the School of Psoriasis, which organizes a two-day meeting annually with patients and their families. Dr. Maria Bova is a member of CISI devoted to the interaction with patients’ organizations at national and international level.

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