Department of Pulmonary Immunology

What We Do at the Department of Pulmonary Immunology

Research Activities
The Department of Pulmonary Immunology is committed to research that will further our understanding of tuberculosis and other mycobacterial diseases. These studies are aimed at delineating the basic mechanisms by which mycobacterial pathogens cause diseases, as well as applying scientific advances to improve patient diagnosis and treatment. Our department’s major focus is to better understand the human immune response to tuberculosis so that an effective mechanism for antituberculosis vaccine can be developed. Another research area is the study of genes and gene products of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that enable the organism to grow and survive in human cells. Specialized tests based on the polymerase chain reaction are also used for rapid identification of mycobacteria and other organisms. New drugs are also being used in treatment trials of disease due to M. avium complex. The faculty publish 10-20 articles annually in scientific journals. For information on individual faculty research topics, access their web pages by clicking on Faculty & Staff or from the Department of Pulmonary Immunology home page.

Clinical Activities
The most important clinical responsibility of the senior staff of the Department of Pulmonary Immunology is to support a toll-free infectious disease consulting service provided, without cost, to all Texas physicians and health care agencies throughout the state. Because it is not possible for a physician to answer the HOTLINE directly, all calls received between 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. are answered by a trained member of the support staff who records the caller’s name, address, telephone number and a brief reason for the call. Once recorded, this information is passed on to one of our consulting physicians who returns the call later that day. It is our policy to follow each verbal consult with a written summary of the problem and the recommendations. Physicians seeking consults are encouraged to include the written consult in the patient’s record. Consults that relate to "multi-drug resistant tuberculosis" are also sent to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Between January 1993 - July 2013 the CPIDC received more than 20,399 calls.

Texas Health care providers can obtain a free infectious disease consultation by calling our toll-free number Monday-Friday from 8:30-5:00 p.m.
Fax: (903) 877-7989 or 877-5516
Local physicians should call (903) 877-7327 or (903) 877-5908

NOTICE: Protected health information is subject to electronic disclosure.