Explore this Research Unit

The Allergy Clinical Research Unit (ACRU) at Massachusetts General Hospital was established in October 2003 and is directed by Daniel Hamilos, MD. It is located in the Cox Building, 2nd floor at Mass General in Boston. It is staffed by full-time study coordinator(s). Each coordinator is responsible for 3-5 active clinical trials. The coordinators recruit and screen subjects for studies of asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis, nasal polyposis, drug allergy, hereditary angioedema and food allergy.

A major focus of the ACRU is "translational research", i.e. research that applies advanced laboratory techniques to the study of human allergic diseases. This allows the researchers to investigate disease at its most fundamental level. Examples of studies include: (1) a study of inflammatory cell (lymphocyte) movement into the lungs during an asthma attack, (2) a study that seeks to identify weaknesses in "local immunity" in sinus tissue that may cause chronic rhinosinusitis. The ACRU also studies novel drug treatments. Examples include: (1) a study of purified C1 Esterase Inhibitor as a treatment for hereditary angioedema (HAE), and (2) a study of omalizumab as a treatment for polypoid chronic rhinosinusitis.

The ACRU conducts approximately 150 research subject visits per year. Procedures done in the unit include: physical examinations, allergy skin testing, blood drawing, urine pregnancy tests, pulmonary function testing (spirometry) before and after bronchodilator, methacholine bronchial challenges, bronchoscopy with segmental allergen challenge, sinus rhinoscopic assessments and sinus CT scanning.

Studies currently recruiting:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis (with and without nasal polyposis)
  • Drug allergy
  • Food allergy
  • Hereditary angioedema (HAE)
  • Nasal polyposis