The Department of Immunology and Allergology organises and carries out studies of all stages: undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral study programmes. The pedagogical staff of the clinic consists of 16 employees: 1 professor, 2 associate professors, 3 lecturers and 8 assistants.
The course in Allergology and Clinical Immunology has been taught to the 4th-year medical students the Medical Academy since 1999. Since 2010, the introduction of problem-based learning programmes, allergology and clinical immunology has been included in the module “Chest diseases, Allergology and Clinical Immunology and Haematology and Oncology”, taught during the course “Congenital and acquired immune response disorders” (in Lithuanian and English).
As of 2023, the Department of Immunology and Allergology supervises module “Response to Environmental Effects and Structural Homeostasis” (in Lithuanian and English) for the 1st year students of the Faculty of Medicine.
The second year of the Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Genetics students are taught the “Fundamentals of Immunology” course. The third-year students of the Medical Academy Medical and Veterinary Biochemistry are taught the basics of the module “Laboratory Haematology and Immunology” subjects of study “Fundamentals of clinical Immunology‘” and ,”Fundamentals of Laboratory Immunology”.
The ”Immunology” course (in Lithuanian and English) is delivered to the 3rd year students of the Faculty of Pharmacy.
As of 2024, the “Immunology and Immunoprophylaxis” course (in Lithuanian and English) will be delivered to the 2nd year students of the Faculty of Pharmacy.
Residency programme in Allergology and clinical Immunology (duration – 4 years). Its objectives are to acquire knowledge and develop skills enabling to investigate patients with acute and chronic diseases of internal organs and immune system and allergic diseases, to develop and implement an individual patient treatment plan and to provide immediate and urgent care during urgent conditions. Upon completion of this study programme, competencies are acquired that correspond to the qualification standard of the allergologist and clinical immunologist speciality.
The clinic organises postgraduate training courses every year.
- The aim of this programme is to systematise and deepen knowledge about the most common form of immune response disorder – increased immune sensitivity (allergy), its mechanisms, their significance for the development, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of allergic diseases, to present the scientific achievements and prospects of allergology, their application for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
- Clinical immunology. The aim of the programme is to systematise and deepen knowledge of normal and impaired immune response, immune aspects of pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
The priority of scientific research is multidisciplinary projects aimed at evaluating new aspects of the development of chronic diseases in order to deepen knowledge of the mechanisms of immune response. Currently, the research carried out in the department allows to analyse the correlation of immunological changes of the respiratory tract inflammation caused by the allergen with the expression of symptoms and clinical course, taking into account different phenotypes of the disease; the peculiarities of immune response during tumour diseases and in case of immunodeficiency are studied. This creates the preconditions for identifying new markers and molecules that are significant in the development of diseases; this knowledge helps to fill gaps in the understanding of pathogenesis of various diseases and extends the search for new diagnostic and treatment possibilities.
Scientific papers by allergologists and clinical immunologists, scientific articles are published in high-citation journals of the Institute of Scientific information (ISI), such as the American Journal of Respiratory Cellular and Molecular Biology, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Investigative Allergology and Clinical Immunology The results of the research are presented in the annual congresses of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Clinical Allergology and Immunology, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI) and the World Allergy Organization (WAO).
Applied clinical trials are conducted in accordance with the rules of good clinical practice. Clinical trials being carried out:
- A multi-centre, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised study to evaluate AllerT, the efficacy and tolerability of similar overlapping peptides from any combination of v 1 in adults with allergic rhinitis/rhinoconjunctivitis caused by birch pollen.
- A multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study evaluated the efficacy and safety of specific immunotherapy with an aluminium hydroxide adsorbed allergen for the house dust mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) in patients with allergic bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis or rhinoconjunctivitis.
- Inclusion of patients with primary immunodeficiency and treated patients in the primary Immunodeficiency Centre of Kaunas Clinics in the European Immunodeficiency Society (ESID) register.
Since 2005, LSMU has been the co-operation centre of the European Union’s 6th Framework Programme project GA2LEN (Global Allergy and asthma European Network).
The Department has a primary Immunodeficiency Centre, which is a member of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation(since 2012), a member of J Project (since 2016).
The long-term cooperation with European scientific centres, active participation in the activities of international organisations, allows not only to acquire new knowledge in the fields of allergology and immunology, but also to implement the latest methods of diagnosis and treatment of allergic and immune diseases, to modernise training and develop scientific work and create preconditions for the further successful development in this field of medicine.