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26 February 2010

2010 Research Grants Awarded by FAAN

From the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network:

FAAN Awards 2010 Research Grants
Funded Studies Focus on Tree Nut Immunotherapy and the Economic Impact of Food Allergy

FAIRFAX, Va. (Feb. 25, 2010) – Two research studies with the potential for strong impact on the food allergy community have been awarded grants through the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network’s (FAAN) Research Grant Program.

This year’s grant winners are:

·         Stacie Jones, M.D., Arkansas Children’s Hospital
·         David Holdford, M.D., Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Jones and her team will receive funding to develop tree nut-specific immunotherapy for people who have multiple tree nut allergies. Considerable progress has been made using oral immunotherapy approaches for other food allergens, but this will be the first study to focus on the treatment of multiple tree nut allergies.

“The studies supported by FAAN, as typified by Dr. Jones’ study of tree nut allergy treatment, are critical as they provide the transition from basic research to the development of an  intervention for patients with food allergy,” said Dr. Andrew Saxon of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the chairman of FAAN’s Research Advisory Board. “This brings us closer to having a treatment protocol that can be put into practice for individuals with food allergies.” 

Dr. Holdford will examine the economic impact of food allergy and anaphylaxis in the U.S. No published studies have explored the costs related to this medical condition that affects 12 million Americans. Holdford plans to analyze both the direct and indirect costs of food allergy – ranging from expenses related to ambulance runs to lost work productivity.

“We hope that a better understanding of the financial burdens associated with food allergy will lead to increased government funding of food allergy research,” said Maria Acebal, FAAN Vice President and General Counsel.

Both of the studies have the potential to provide needed evidence in areas that previously have not received much attention. Forty-one researchers applied to FAAN for funding this year.  FAAN’s competitive Research Grant Program is one of the organizations most popular initiatives. The program, which is 100 percent funded by members and other individual donors, has provided over $4.6 million for food allergy research over the past several years. 

For more information or to support FAAN’s research efforts, visit www.foodallergy.org.

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