The history of the Allergy and Immunology Research Centre goes back to 1928, when IMR started a section that began the production of vaccine lymph for immunization against small pox. In 1930, this section was named the Lymph Station. The Division of Serology was subsequently formed in 1946. In 1972, the name was changed to the Division of Serology and Immunology. In 2001, after the reorganisation of the IMR, the Division was renamed the Allergy and Immunology Research Centre (AIRC).
Since it was first set up it can number among its achievements the following:
- The first to set up HLA typing services for the country and is involved in kidney, heart and bone marrow transplantation programmes
- The first to carry out CD4 enumeration for HIV patients. The CD4 count for the enumeration of T and B cell subsets was first done using light microscopy. The first flowcytometer laboratory was established by this Division.
- The first laboratory providing diagnostic services for Primary Immunodeficiencies.
- The first and only and only Allergy Clinic within the Ministry of Health
The AIRC is heavily involved in donor testing, donor registration and donor follow-up for the Malaysian Stem Cell Registry to aid patients requiring a matched unrelated donor transplant. We have also expanded the scope of our diagnostic services and formed four units to better focus on research and diagnostics.
The Centre currently has a large diagnostic load and it tailors research to study various aspects of disease and to improve the scope and breadth of services that it provides to patients in the public and private sector.