NEWS & EVENTS

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The David H. and Julia Koch Research Program in Food Allergy Therapeutics

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute


 

Source: Mount Sinai

Food allergy is one of the leading chronic illnesses in the United States, affecting the quality of life of more than 32 million Americans who are allergic to common food ingredients, like milk, peanuts, eggs, and wheat. 

 

An estimated 1 in 13 American children are food allergic, making this a major health concern for families and schools. For decades, treatment has relied almost entirely on diet elimination, which can be difficult to adapt to and maintain as a lifestyle. As a result, individuals with food allergies often suffer from psychological distress and inconvenience.

 

Now, food allergy treatment stands at a crossroads. Expert allergists and immunologists at the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai are developing promising new therapeutics to prevent and treat allergies. With the Koch family’s championship, Mount Sinai has expanded its food allergy research efforts by recruiting and partnering with a range of ambitious scientists, and launched many research endeavors that are yielding promising results and garnering significant federal funding. 

Innovators in Food Allergy Research
Food allergies and food intolerance are complex, and to get to the root of these challenges, we must approach our research through a range of scientific lenses. Thus, we have built and nurtured a team of diverse experts who use their knowledge in areas like environmental exposure, the microbiome, and inflammation to examine food allergies from myriad angles. In addition to providing the resources needed to build such a robust team, the Koch family’s support enabled these talented scientists to take their nascent research initiatives further through the David H. and Julia Koch Research Program in Food Allergy Therapeutics, leading to significant federal
grants and even a patented test that has the potential to change the future of food allergy diagnosis.

Research Advances and Insights
Our exceptional scientists and clinicians are changing how we understand and approach food allergies. Their research—catalyzed by the Koch family—fuels new therapeutic strategies personalized for each individual allergy patient and brings us ever closer to a cure for food allergies. 

Expanding Our Impact
Research bolstered by the Koch family and the David H. and Julia Koch Research Program in Food Allergy Therapeutics has led to meaningful, early insights in food allergy science that may have otherwise gone unexplored to their full potential. Many of these insights have caught the attention of the greater scientific community, leading to millions of dollars in federal funding and even a patented diagnostic tool that holds promise for changing the future of food allergy detection.

Launching the Food Allergy Research and Treatment Center
With our research enterprise growing rapidly and successfully, we recognized a need to create a translational and clinical home for our discoveries in order to bring the most novel advances to our patients. Thus, the Food Allergy Research and Treatment Center was launched in 2016. At the Center, our team provides pediatric patients with a safe space to receive their tests, diagnoses, and treatment
options, and incorporates individualized treatment plans based on the latest findings in our research.

To date, more than 550 children have been part of the Center’s studies examining personalized treatment approaches to food allergy, including:

 

  • The FDA-approved peanut oral immunotherapy, Palforzia

  • Dr. Maria Lafaille’s analysis of blood samples to examine the immune cells that make peanut-

  • specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies and may be targets for treatment

  • Dr. Sampson’s diagnostic test with AllerGenis

  • Dr. Bunyavanich’s saliva-based research on bacteria and chemicals found on children with peanut allergy compared to those without

Additionally, the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute team is working with the Center’s patients to find new and effective ways to support the psychological and emotional well-being of children with food allergies and their families.