Gastrointestinal Microbiome & Allergic Proctocolitis Study
Massachussetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Explore the GMAP Study
About the GMAP Study
The Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Allergic Proctocolitis (GMAP) study is a prospective, observational, healthy infant cohort study created by a multidisciplinary team of doctors and scientists at Mass General for Children, in close partnership with Pediatrics at Newton-Wellesley. The study was designed to learn more about the earliest manifestations of food allergy in infants and the many factors that may contribute to the development of allergies or, conversely, tolerance acquisition.
Starting in 2014, this long-term study enrolled children at their first pediatrics visit after birth and is following them through their entire childhood until they turn 18. We collect survey information, stool samples, blood samples, and urine samples at every pediatrics visit across the child’s lifespan to better answer many of these open research questions.
Explore the topics here to learn more about GMAP, what we are learning from this exciting study, and how you can get involved.
Food Protein-induced Allergic Proctocolitis (FPIAP)
Food protein-induced allergic proctocolitis (FPIAP) is one of the earliest food allergic manifestations. It presents in young infants with fussiness, reflux behaviors, and blood/mucous in the stools. FPIAP is also referred to as cow’s milk protein intolerance or allergy (CMPA) or milk soy protein intolerance (MSPI). Very little research has been done on how this disease develops and the degree to which it does or does not predict later development of other food allergies. Dietary elimination of milk and soy proteins has been a mainstay of therapy, but little is known about the natural history of FPIAP or the long-term implications of this practice.
We know that many factors may play a role in which children develop allergies or lose tolerance to certain foods. In the GMAP study, we aim to understand the role of environmental factors (e.g., mode of delivery, antibiotic use, pets), genetic factors, how and when foods are introduced into the diet, how those foods interact with the infant gut microbiome, and how this impacts long term health, well-being, and tolerance acquisition.
We believe that a better foundational understanding of all these factors will lead to better clinical practice guidelines to help treat and ultimately prevent some pediatric food allergies.
Meet Our Team
Victoria Martin MD, MPH, Qian Yuan, MD, PhD, and Wayne Shreffler MD, PhD, together lead the GMAP research team. The team includes primary care doctors, specialists, research coordinators, lab technicians, research assistants, bioinformaticians, and students.
- Co-Director, Pediatric Gastroenterology Section, Food Allergy Center
- Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
- Associate Program Director, MGHfC Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Fellowship
- Chief, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology
- Director, Food Allergy Center
- Principal Investigator, Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases
- Associate Pediatrician
Check out this episode of Bowel Sounds, the Pediatric GI Podcast sponsored by the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN), where the team interviewed Dr. Martin about what we’ve learned from the GMAP study so far.
View our full list of research publications from the GMAP study.
We’d love to hear from you! If you are a doctor, scientist, dietician, parent, or anyone who is interested in becoming more involved in the work we are doing, please email us at email@example.com. We love to collaborate and can learn a lot more together!