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David H. Koch donates $10 million to Mount Sinai's Jaffe Food Allergy Institute
Date:4/10/2012

David H. Koch, Executive Vice President of Koch Industries, has committed $10 million to the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. The gift is one of the largest in the Institute's history and will create the David H. and Julia Koch Research Program in Food Allergy Therapeutics. The program will serve as a hub for drug discovery and vaccine development related to food allergy, and build upon the promising work already underway at the Institute. The donation will also be used to further the Institute's recruitment of leading researchers dedicated to the discovery of new food allergy therapeutics.

Nearly 15 million Americans have food allergies, including approximately 6 million children, according the The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. A 2010 study led by Scott Sicherer, MD, Chief of the Division on Allergy and Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics and a clinical researcher at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute found the rates of childhood peanut allergies, one of the most common and most dangerous food allergies, more than tripled between 1997 and 2008.

Because the preventive shots used for allergies such as pollen or bee stings cause severe unwanted side effects when used for food allergies, scientists at the Institute are conducting cutting-edge research investigating using small fragments of the three main allergenic proteins present in peanuts to create a "safe shot." If successful in preventing peanut allergy, the theory could be applied to vaccines for all food allergies. Mr. Koch's donation will support these studies as well as efforts to identify new targets and biomarkers for food allergy.

"This generous gift will strengthen Mount Sinai's position as a global leader in food allergy therapeutics," said Hugh Sampson, MD, Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute and an internationally recognized allergist and investigator of food allergy. "Right now, the only recourse for patients who h
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Contact: Jeanne Bernard
Jeanne.Bernard@mountsinai.org
212-241-9200
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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