Twelve investigators have received grants totaling $5 million over two years to lead high-impact, innovative studies of food allergy, a significant public health concern. This program, called Exploratory Investigations in Food Allergy, is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and two advocacy groups, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and the Food Allergy Project (FAP). The initiative will support research on the factors that contribute to the development of food allergy, the relationship between other immune system disorders and food allergy, and the epidemiology and genetics of food allergy. An additional program goal is to encourage investigators who have not previously been funded for studies of food allergy to move into the field of food allergy research.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also plans to make four separate awards totaling $1 million per year under this research initiative. EPA will make a separate announcement of its awards.
"Little is known about why only some people develop food allergy, and finding answers to that fundamental question is one of the key objectives of this initiative," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., whose institute is contributing $2 million toward the grants. "We anticipate that this program will spark new ideas and research in the field, and we look forward to seeing progress in research that ultimately ends the limitations that food allergy places on the lives of so many children and adults."
In the United States, approximately 6 percent to 8 percent of children under age 4, and 4 percent of persons age 5 and older have an allergy to one or more foods. In a two-year period, about half of all children with a food allergy will have an allergic reaction from an accidental exposure to that food. Severe cases can result in life-threatening anaphylaxis, a condition characterized b
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NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases