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The Academic Center of Allergic Diseases, Erasmus MC (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

The Academic Center of Allergic Diseases is embedded in the Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. The Erasmus MC is with 13.500 co-workers, 4500 students, 1100 beds, 45.000 yearly hospital admissions and 577.000 outpatient visits one of the largest university centers in the Netherlands. 

Mission statement
The Center has the mission to provide 1) Multidisciplinary specialized care and research in children and adults with complex atopic disorders, work-related allergies, mastocytosis, treatment resistant urticaria/angioedema, drug allergy and severe allergic patients receiving immunotherapy 2) A platform for high quality care, and innovative epidemiological, translational and clinical research. 3) A network for education of students, training of residents and fellows in the participating disciplines and postgraduate education for other parties.

Structure
The Center has been established prof. dr. Roy Gerth van Wijk, section of Allergology and Clinical Immunology. The Center is comprising a collaboration of groups and departments focusing on allergic diseases. The Academic Center for Allergic Diseases has been recognized by the Board of the Erasmus MC. A website can be viewed at https://ace.adasco.nl/ace/5

An overview of the different groups and departments contributing to the Center is shown in the figure. The co-ordination of the Center is in the hands of the section of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, department of Internal Medicine (co-ordinators dr. Paul van Daele and dr. Nicolette de Jong). Head of the section is prof. dr. P.M. van Hagen, whereas dr. Paul van Daele is heading now the Allergology group. In total about 50 scientists, medical doctors and supporting staff are liaising with the Academic Center of Allergic diseases.

Clinical care
The Center covers all aspects of care for allergic patients. In the Sophia Children’s hospital and in the Children’s harbor the sub-departments of Paediatric Allergology (dr. Nicolette Arends, dr. Joyce Emons), Paediatric Pulmonology (dr. Marielle Pijnenburg, prof. Johan de Jongste) and Paediatric Dermatology (prof. dr. Suzanne Pasmans) deliver multidisciplinary and specialized care for children with asthma, rhinitis and eczema; inhalation and food-allergy. Allergology (dr. Paul van Daele, dr. Maud Hermans) established together with Pediatric Allergology, Immunology and (Paediatric) Dermatology the nationally certified Mastocytosis Center. In addition, Allergology (dr. Maurits van Maaren) in collaboration with Dermatology (dr. Martijn van Doorn) obtained certification as UCARE (Urticaria Center of Reference and Excellence) participant. Patients with work-related upper and lower respiratory disorders and/or skin diseases are welcome at the specialized multidisciplinary policlinics of Allergology, Dermatology (dr. Lia Kunkeler) and Pulmonology (dr. GertJan Braunstahl). The Center has all advanced allergological and immunological diagnostics among of which units for food, drug and insect sting challenges in children and adults. Facilities for delivering immunotherapy and biologicals are available.

Research
Research is closely related to the Centre's patient care. Important themes are focused on the atopic child (Dr. Nicolette Arends, Prof. Dr. Suzanne Pasmans), mastocytosis (Dr. Paul van Daele, Dr. Maud Hermans), food allergy (Dr. Nicolette de Jong), drug hypersensitivity (Dr. Maurits van Maaren), immunopathology in asthma (Prof. Dr. Rudi Hendriks) and respiratory allergy in general practice (Prof. Dr. Patrick Bindels).

Education
This Center is actively involved in the training of bachelor students (BSc) in medicine (especially 2nd and 3rd year) and in the training of master students (MSc) specifically in the field of infection and immunity. In the center, residents of ENT, lung diseases, internal medicine and dermatology from Erasmus MC as well as from other university centers are trained to treat patients with allergic diseases. The Center is officially recognized as a training center for specialization in pediatric allergy, allergology and clinical immunology.

Finally, the members of the Center are intensively involved in national and international scientific organizations and in the preparation of position papers and guidelines. Furthermore, they communicate with patient organizations and are committed to promoting the interests of the field.

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