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Regional University Hospital of Malaga - Allergy Department (Malaga, Spain)

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Allergy Department at Regional University Hospital of Malaga (RUHM) &
Allergy Research Group at Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga (IBIMA)

The main goal of the Allergy Department at RUHM is to provide excellent medical care to patients with allergy, asthma and other immunological diseases from Malaga province, in Southern Spain. The department is currently headed by Prof Maria Jose Torres and is the reference center for more than 1.5 million patients older than 13 years. Several monographic outpatient clinic consults are organized every day to cover all the areas of the specialty. Rhinitis and asthma consults deal with patients with airway allergy and are assisted by the Respiratory Functional Tests Unit equipped with cutting-edge resources to study the upper and lower airways. The department is a world-wide reference center for the performance of nasal allergen provocation test. Urticaria and eczema consults are arranged to take care of patients with skin allergy. The Drug Hypersensitivity Unit counts with its own Day Hospital to perform drug provocations and desensitizations. The department is a world-wide reference center in the study and management of drug hypersensitivity. Food allergy consults are equipped with the food allergy Day Hospital where patients can undergo oral food challenges. The department has pioneered the implementation of sublingual immunotherapy for plant-food allergy. Hymenoptera hypersensitivity consults are also arranged on a weekly basis. The Immunotherapy Unit functions every day to optimize the administration of allergen immunotherapy, venom immunotherapy and biological drugs. The Allergy Department counts with 14 consultants many of them engaged into research activities. A big proportion of these clinicians have received grants from the main public agencies funding research in Spain.     

The Allergy Group at IBIMA is also headed by Prof Torres. Besides the allergists from the clinical department, the group is composed of the biologists, bioinformaticians and chemists working at the Allergy Research Laboratory at HRUM. This facility is currently headed by Dr Cristobalina Mayorga, who is also a coordinator of the Allergy Research Group. Of note, both the clinical department and the laboratory are located in the same building of the hospital, greatly facilitating translational research. The group is focused on three main areas of investigation: local allergic rhinitis, sublingual immunotherapy for LTP allergy, and drug hypersensitivity. The laboratory counts with flow cytometry, molecular biology, immunohistochemistry, cell culture, and biobank facilities. Several transcriptomic and genome wide association studies have recently been carried out, and the group is a world-wide reference in the performance and applicability of basophil activation test. Clinical investigators from other medical specialties are also integrated in the Allergy Group, importantly Pediatricians and Otorrhinolaryngologists. The group also counts with nurses committed to research activities. Several members of the group have received important grants from Spanish and European institutions funding research. The Allergy Group at IBIMA is the coordinator group of the National Allergy Research Network ARADyAL, composed of more than 20 clinical and basic groups working in the field of allergy and asthma. Prof Torres is herself the coordinator of ARADyAL network. The Allergy Group is also integrated in the Anadalusian Center for Nanotechnology (BIONAND), located in Malaga.

The Allergy Group also exerts multiple educational activities. Under graduate medical students perform clinical rotations in the department, which is also a certified center providing training for Allergy specialists. Many clinical and basic researchers have performed their PhD thesis in the Allergy Group. Finally, the Allergy Department frequently hosts medical specialists from around the globe to perform clinical and research rotations.

Clinical Staff  Laboratory Staff