Division of Allergy and Immunology selected as a World Health Organization Center of Excellence

The designation makes USF one of 10 premier centers worldwide, and the first U.S. center

Tampa, FL (Feb. 22, 2017) — The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida was recently chosen as a World Allergy Organization (WAO) Center of Excellence for the 2016-19 term – a recognition held by only 10 institutions worldwide.

The designation, held by the college’s Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Allergy and Immunology, makes USF the first WAO Center of Excellence in the United States and one of three in North America, joining Centro Regional de Alergia Immunologia in Monterrey, Mexico, and Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez in Mexico City.  Over the last 30 years, the division has been led by Richard Lockey, MD, a Distinguished USF Health Professor with appointments in medicine, pediatrics and public health and the Joy McCann Culverhouse Endowed Chair of Allergy and Immunology.


Dr. Richard Lockey directs the USF Health Division of Allergy and Immunology.

“We are honored to receive this distinction as one of the select Centers of Excellence of the World Allergy Organization,” said Charles J. Lockwood, MD, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. “It is a testament to the hard work of an amazing group of highly talented USF faculty members dedicated to the prevention and treatment of pediatric and adult allergy, immunology and immune diseases. They have distinguished themselves with countless awards and accolades and by serving in national and international leadership roles.”

The WAO is an international umbrella organization consisting of 97 regional and national allergy and clinical immunology societies, representing approximately 35,000 allergists and immunologists worldwide.  The purpose of the WAO Centers of Excellence is to intensify and accelerate multidisciplinary scientific and clinical innovation, education, and advocacy worldwide providing excellence in education, research and training to various stakeholders in allergy, asthma and clinical immunology.

USF Health Division of Allergy and Immunology accomplishments contributing to its status as a WAO Center of Excellence include:

  • Home to the only two allergy and immunology residency training programs in Florida accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education – one in internal medicine and the other in pediatrics.
  • The division’s Clinical Research Unit is one of 17 select centers in the American Lung Association Clinical Research Centers network, studying patients with airway diseases and generating several studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • Holds four National Institutes of Health grants and maintains a $15 million endowment for research. Working with faculty in public health and infectious diseases, the division also leads a recently awarded $1.1-million state Department of Health grant to establish an integrated Zika clinical trial network in Florida.     

In addition to Dr. Lockey, core faculty members of the USF Health Division of Allergy and Immunology are Thomas B. Casale, MD; Roger W. Fox, MD; Dennis K. Ledford, MD, Seong H. Cho, MD; Mark C. Glaum, MD, PhD; Narasaiah Kolliputi, PhD; Michael N. Teng, PhD; Blanca Camoretti-Mercado, PhD; Lakshmi Galam, PhD; and Farnaz Tabatabaian, MD.      

– Story by Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Health Communications