The Department of Infection and Immunity (DII)

Overview The Department of Infection and Immunity (DII) of the Research Centre is tasked to provide molecular solutions to problems in infectious diseases due to pathogens through the application of modern methods of molecular and translational research.

Pathology  Laboratory Medicine  Riyadh


Overview The Department of Infection and Immunity (DII) of the Research Centre is tasked to provide molecular solutions to problems in infectious diseases due to pathogens through the application of modern methods of molecular and translational research, as well as educating the broader community on related issues. It endeavours to be of excellence in research related to infection and immunity and in training nationals on methods applied to this field. Among the areas to be investigated are molecular epidemiology of infectious agents, discovery of possible oncogenic pathogens (such as HBV, HCV, HPV, and Helicobacter pylori) and influenza viruses, tracing and identification of nosocomial pathogens using PFGE and MLST, mechanisms, associated with antimicrobial resistance, cellular immune response to infectious agents, development and evaluation of vaccines, microbial genetics and genomics, transplantation and HIV infection research, tuberculosis research, and microbial molecular diagnostics.


To establish the groundwork for the microbiology and microbial immunity fields and build scientific relationships intra- and extramurally.
To increase the community awareness regarding infectious agents, improve the combating of the infections and promote immunity methodology to serve the society.
To implement the National, Strategic Health and Medical Research priorities in accordance with KFSH&RC strategic translational and basic research plans.


Focus Areas
Microbial Pathogenesis
Molecular Virology


List of sections:
Immunocompromised Host
This newly-established Section will offer an integrated, multidisciplinary approach in the field of transplant and infectious diseases research. It will involve all aspects of basic, clinical and translational research, as well as awareness programs devoted to patients with an increased risk for infections. It will establish a high level of patient treatment and survival. 
Microbial Pathogenesis
Microbial infections can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated properly. However, in order to do that, the mechanism by which the disease is manifested must be explored. Virulence and other factors contributing to disease establishment are the focus of investigations. All studies in this area will enable the understanding of evolution of emerging and re-emerging infections.
Molecular Virology
Viruses are ubiquitous infectious agents that cause various diseases in humans. Many viral diseases exist; some are emerging while others are prevalent in certain parts of the world. Viral hepatitis, caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV), could develop into hepatocellular carcinoma and is important in Saudi Arabia with high morbidity. In addition to infections with influenza viruses and human papillomaviruses (HPV), it is prudent to investigate the molecular epidemiology of these viruses as well as problems encountered in their treatment.
Tuberculosis has not been brought under control. Many factors may contribute to endemicity of the disease in Saudi Arabia. These include huge number of expatriates and influx of pilgrims coming endemic areas. In addition, the country lacks basic data about the disease. Several projects are being performed in this Section in an attempt to understand the dynamics and extent of the problem.
Journal of Infection in Developing Countries (JIDC) Office
JIDC is a peer-reviewed, international scientific journal that was inaugurated in 2007 as a non-profit organization, particularly to assist those scholars who may not be able to publish in Western journals for reasons other than science. If the submitted manuscript lacks certain criteria, it is mentored. Over a few years, it reached an Impact Factor of 1.2. The JIDC headquarters is in Sassari, Sardinia, Italy, with global Regional Offices. Currently there are five Regional Offices in China (International Institute of Infection and Immunity, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China), Spain (Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valladolid, National Centre of Influenza, Valladolid, Spain), Canada (University Health Network, Toronto, Canada), Turkey (Marmara University, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Istanbul, Turkey), and Brazil (Food Science and Technology Institute of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil). Taken the advantage of having a Senior Editor of the JIDC from our Hospital, KFSH&RC is hosting a Regional Office under the Department of Infection and Immunity in the Research Centre. This Office, which was formally approved on 11 June 2012 will promote the Journal’s diffusion among scholars, physicians, scientists, students, and the general public in the country and in the region as well as organize meetings on hot topics including but not limited to emerging infections, antibiotic policies, advanced diagnostic methods, and management of infections.


Career Opportunities
Infection and Immunity department is carried out by a talented and specialized collaborative team.


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