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Allergy & Clinical Immunology Unit
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The mission of the food allergy center is to provide the best possible care through multidisciplinary care and research.
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MassGeneral Hospital for Children
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The Shreffler laboratory focuses on the characterization of cellular and humoral immune response to dietary antigens and the mechanisms of allergen-induced Th2 sensitization and oral tolerance. Areas of active investigation include 1) the mechanisms of allergenic dendritic cell (DC) activation by allergens and the DC signals that induce Th2 differentiation; 2) the role of regulatory T cells in natural and immunotherapy-induced oral tolerance; 3) the role of IgE diversity and basophil activation and their regulation in both the effector response and in adaptive immune deviation in the context of food allergy and asthma. We primarily work with human samples, often in conjunction with clinical interventional or observational studies, to interrogate both the innate and adaptive immune responses to major dietary and aeroallergens.
Working together with numerous collaborators including from the Consortium for Food Allergy Research , the Inner City Asthma Consortium and our own newly established Food Allergy Center at MGH, we are adapting the use of polychromatic flow cytometry, peptide microarray-based humoral immune profiling and systems biology approaches to uniquely characterize the phenotype and function of allergen-specific T and B cell responses and the regulations of effector cells in pediatric food allergy and asthma.
Also important is the effort to understand why some food proteins are potent allergens. In other words, what are the mechanisms that influence early immune fate decisions to allergens and the intrinsic properties of those allergens that facilitate an allergic response. We are studying this in human and murine model systems.
View my most recent publications at PubMed
As an infant, Grace Beecher’s parents found her difficult to soothe. Not until her family uncovered severe food allergies was Grace able to thrive.
The landmark LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut) study demonstrated an amazing, yet challenging opportunity to decrease peanut allergy prevalence and stop a food allergy before it starts.
Wayne Shreffler, MD, PhD, the chief of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology and director of the Food Allergy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, responds to the results of a peanut oral immunotherapy with probiotics trial (PPOIT) study.
Wayne Shreffler, MD, PhD, the chief of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology and director of the Food Allergy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, provides insight into new National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease recommendations and their potential implications for patient care.
Shift the focus from holiday foods and plan memorable holiday activities for your children to enjoy this season that are safe and free from allergens.
Nine local mothers who blog about parenthood visited MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) on July 31 to meet MGHfC physicians and learn about three popular pediatric health topics – obesity, food allergy and sleep behavioral disorders.
Wayne Shreffler, MD, PhD, division chief of Pediatric Allergy & Immunology at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and director of the Food Allergy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, explains the differences between food challenges, which are established methods of care, and oral immunotherapy, which is still in research.
Food allergy is an immune-based disease affecting an estimated 5 percent of children younger than age 5 and 4 percent of teens and adults.
The Food Allergy Center is currently enrolling peanut allergic children ages 7–21 years in an oral immunotherapy (OIT) study, which involves administering small doses of peanut powder, increased over time. Read about Deb Edmunds’ insiders experience with her daughter, Ashley Edmunds, who is currently enrolled.
The Food Allergy team at MassGeneral Hospital for Children answers common concerns about food allergies and school.
Wayne Shreffler, MD, PhD, a pediatric allergist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and director of the Food Allergy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, answers questions about proposed changes to air travel regulations.
Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology indicates that children may not outgrow milk allergies as early in life as experts had thought.
Read about three patients who have benefited from services at the Food Allergy Center.
With the hope of making a long-term impact in the field, The Food Allergy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) has been established to diagnose and treat known and suspected cases of food allergies.
Wayne Shreffler, MD, PhD, a pediatric allergist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and director of the Food Allergy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, answers questions about the diagnosis and treatment of food allergies.
In Fall 2009, Massachusetts General Hospital established a comprehensive center for the treatment and study of food allergy and food-related disorders to provide state-of-the-art care while investigating the mysteries that underlie these inadequately understood and as yet incurable diseases.
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