Message of the Director: Professor Asghar Aghamohammadi
I wish to welcome you to the updated website of the Research Center for Immunodeficiencies (RCID), the academic research center for the primary immunodeficiency. Twenty years ago in 1996, when I came back Iran after a 3 year educational course in UK, and have been employed in Immunology Department of Children’s Medical Center Hospital, I was thinking of two main goals to achieve in Iran which were already existed in UK in an advanced state:
During my fellowship course in clinical immunology and immunodeficiency diseases at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, I realized that all patients with immunodeficiency were registered in a specific primary immunodeficiency registry. For this reason, I was intended to develop such a program for immunodeficient patients in Iran.
All patients with the diagnosis of immunodeficiency at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London were socially and spiritually supported by a non-profit charity organization named Primary Immunodeficiency UK (PID UK). PID UK not only carried out supportive and humanitarian activities, but also provided a great help to researches by accessing to a huge number of immunodeficient patients.
After coming back to Iran and beginning my academic activities in Children’s Medical Center Hospital, in 1997 the subject of establishing a primary immunodeficiency registry was written as a research proposal project and with inspiring collaboration of Dr Mostafa Moein, some of academic members of Immunology Department, Dr Nima Rezaei and Dr Kamran Abolmaali and medical students from Students' Scientific Research Center the project brought into operation. Gradually, with growing number of registered patients in the project and gaining more experience, the scientific department of immunodeficiency diseases was generated and improved. Furthermore, regarding establishment of the primary immunodeficiency foundation in Iran, we could successfully build up and initiate the first Primary Immunodeficiency foundation in 1998 with the extensive help from Dr Moein and some loyal and care-giving people.
After two years of registry of patients, we established Iranian Primary Immunodeficiency Registry (IPIDR) in 1999. Afterwards, lots of researchers and students, interested in conducting research activities in the field of immunodeficiency, applied to have collaboration with IPIDR. Focused on research studies in the area of primary immunodeficiency, we commenced collaborating with international centers (Harvard University of US, Karolinska Institute of Sweden, Brescia University of Italy and University of Toyama in Japan). Since the beginning of IPIDR activities, during 11 years from 1999 to 2010, 223 articles with 6124 citation (H index: 22) were published in well known journals.
Due to the necessity for a research center concentrated on primary immunodeficiency, in 2010 the idea of establishing the Research Centre for Immunodefiencies (RCID) with a multidisciplinary and multilateral vision was proposed. Then a proposal for establishment of RCID was submitted to TUMS by some academic members professional in clinical immunology, infectious diseases and basic sciences as the founders. After initial agreements in TUMS and Research Deputy of Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME), an agreement in principle was finally made in January 2011 in extension council.
According to reports from the IPIDR program which was published in the form of 3 articles in 2001, 2006 and 2013, in the Journal of Clinical Immunology, as well as, registry reports on patients admitted in 2014 and 2015, we could formally registered 2200 patients with PID by now (August 2016). Currently, RCID, as the documenting center of ESID registry, have a close collaboration with European Society of Immunodeficiency. On the other hand, our promoting collaboration with other national and international research centers resulted in detection of many genes responsible for PID, such as HAX1 G6PC3, STK4, DOCK8, IFNGR2, CARD9, ELA2, and LRBA.
Thanks to outstanding research activities, according to the formal report of TUMS evaluation of medical research centers, our center was known as the top medical research center in 2011. Furthermore, in both 2012 and 2013, RCID could achieve the first top center in the country among all medical research centers with less than 3 years activity. Only after 29 months of activity, could RCID receive its definitive agreement from MOHME in 13 March 2013.
Since its establishment in 2010 by now (August 2016), RCID's publications of 345 articles in well known journals with 1745 citations could lead to an H-Index of 20.
The RCID is located in the Pediatrics Center of Excellence, Children’s Medical Center Hospital in Tehran, Iran and is affiliated to TUMS. As the RCID's mission is defined to upgrading the quality of researches and medical care to the patients suffering from immunodeficiency, this center is trying to not only improve health care services, but also train a new generation of skilled researchers in the field of immunodeficiency.