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Fellowships & Internships

Research Lab

Dr. Walters research lab team

Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Laboratory at Children's Research Institute (CRI)

The Children’s Research Institute (CRI) is a $12.2 million building located on the St. Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida (USF), east of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (JHACH), where research is conducted by groups led by translational physician scientists affiliated with both USF and JHACH.

The CRI consists of 48,000 square feet (sq. ft.) that includes in excess of 35,000 sq. ft. of laboratories, faculty offices and support space. The Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Laboratory occupies approximately 2,500 sq. ft. within the fourth floor of the University of South Florida Children’s Research Institute (CRI) in St Petersburg, Florida.

The CRI biorepository offers collection, processing, storage, and distribution services. The sample processing and storage facility includes three -80 freezers with CO2 backup providing a storage capacity of 140,000 cryovials, a MVE liquid nitrogen storage with a 15,600-capacity storage and a Thermo Scientific liquid nitrogen storage vessel with a 36,400 vial capacity for 1 ml samples. The laboratory equipment also includes a variety of +4C and -20C refrigerators and freezers, incubators, microscopes, and centrifuges. All equipment is utilized for research use only. Presently, more than 400 research participant samples (PBCs, plasma, stool) are housed in the CRI’s biorepository.

Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Laboratory is adjacent to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital where the clinical team is actively following patients with primary immunodeficiency (PID) and immune dysregulation in outpatient clinic and inpatient settings. As of 2017, there are over 500 patients registered in the Divisional Immunodeficiency Database and the registry is growing over 10% annually.

Our Division has established multidisciplinary programs with the JHACH Hematology-Oncology Department for the management of patients with immune dysregulation and those with primary immunodeficiency (PID) who require hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Through these programs, patients with autoimmune cytopenia and underlying PID are identified and their samples are stores in the CRI laboratory for translational studies.

Research Projects

Our research projects are funded by the National Institutes of Health, Society grants, pharmaceutical research funds, and support from the USF and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Foundation. Areas of ongoing research include investigations of patients with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), novel variants of common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), and microbiome studies on patients with wide spectrum of primary immunodeficiencies.

Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Laboratory has administrative support with research coordinators, administrative assistants and grant manager to maintain IRB protocols for national and international research collaborations for either investigator-initiated or pharmaceutical sponsored studies.