Allergy and Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine

Welcome to the Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology Clinical Research Unit

Center History

The Division of Allergy and Immunology was established in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida in 1972, one year after the Morsani College of Medicine was founded. Professor Samuel C. Bukantz, M.D., founder of the Division, recruited Richard F. Lockey, M.D. in 1973 as a second faculty member, and these two internationally acclaimed physician scientists established the Clinical Research unit in 1977 and a training program for physicians to become allergists/immunologists in 1977. The Department of Internal Medicine program has six current trainees, and with the Pediatric section at All Children’s Hospital in St Petersburg, has trained over 130 allergists/immunologists and numerous American and foreign post-graduate and graduate research scholars. Many of these trainees are now faculty members in academic centers throughout the world. Both the medicine and pediatric sections are supported by funds donated for teaching, research, and patient care and by secured grants for research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), by the American Lung Association (ALA), various foundations, and industry. The research program expanded in the late 1990s when endowments were donated by grateful friends, Joy McCann Culverhouse and George and Sandy Simmons. In June, 2000, the Clinical Research Unit was selected as one of 19 American Lung Association’s Clinical Research centers, a network of academic asthma research centers dedicated to conduct multicenter clinical research trials in asthma and other airway diseases that are relevant to practical questions about treatment.

Research Emphasis

Basic and clinical research interests include the pathogenesis and treatment of asthma and allergic diseases, aerobiology, primary and secondary immunodeficiency diseases, HIV, bone marrow transplantation, insect hypersensitivity, allergen immunotherapy, co-morbid conditions affecting asthma and upper airway disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, viral respiratory tract infection and asthma, asthma and allergy in the elderly, hereditary angioedema, chronic urticaria and angioedema, atopic eczema, sleep apnea, nasal polyposis, pulmonary interstitial fibrosis, pulmonary artery hypertension and drug allergy.

Clinical and Translational Research Unit

The Division of Allergy and Immunology Clinical Research Unit is a 1600 square foot facility, located just off the main campus, in which pharmaceutical industry sponsored, divisional clinical research projects and federal and non-federal grant funded clinical research projects are conducted. The main goal of the Center is to bring together basic and clinical scientists who translate bench and clinical research into improved treatment of patients who suffer from asthma and allergic and immunologic diseases. All studies performed are done under the supervision of the physicians and the staff and approved by the University’s Human Research Committee. All trainees in allergy and immunology are required to participate in clinical research throughout their training to foster their careers as clinician scientists. Over the past several decades, the Clinical Research faculty have conducted over 500 Phase I, II, III and IV clinical trials and established a working relationship with more than 40 pharmaceutical sponsors, NIH, ALA, VA and many other funding sources. Staffed by five USF clinician scientists, the Division and the Clinical Research Unit are affiliated with various institutions in the Tampa Bay Area including the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Tampa General Hospital, Florida Hospital, the University of South Florida Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare, and All Children’s Hospital.

Research Capabilities

  • Exceeding enrollment requirements is our commitment to quality research.
  • Research is conducted in accordance with Good Clinical Practice Guidelines and the highest ethical standards are followed.
  • 40 years of experience in over 500 phase I-IV trials.
  • Experienced clinical research coordinators.
  • Full-time regulatory coordinator which facilitates timely start-up of new students.
  • On-site IRB meets weekly for new protocols; expedited review for amendments and informed consent changes.
  • Contracted with Western IRB for multi-center trials.
  • Contracted with central IRBs: Quintiles, Quorum & Schulman.

Meeting enrollment requirements is standard practice.


Tampa Bay metropolitan area:
2.5 million population,
Varied ethnic composition,
Easily reached with appropriate media exposure.

Medical Practice

70 new patient and 400 follow-up visits per week computerized patient database.


The USF campus is 20 minutes from Tampa International Airport and is easily accessible from Interstate 275. We are three blocks north of Fletcher Ave. on the east side of Bruce B. Downs Blvd.

For more information, please contact:

Thomas B. Casale, M.D., Director; any other faculty member or Catherine Renee Smith, Clinical Research Unit Study Coordinator at the Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida Clinical Research Unit.

Phone: (813) 631-4024
Fax: (813) 631-4030
13801 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Suite 505
Tampa, Florida 33613

Click here to view our CRU Brochure.