The Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma at Stanford is the first of its kind and aims not only to find better treatments for children and adults with allergies and asthma, but also to discover the underlying immune mechanisms that fight these diseases and develop a long-lasting treatment. Transforming the lives of patients and families through innovative science and compassionate care.
Under the leadership of Dr. Kari Nadeau, one of the foremost experts in allergy and asthma in adults and children in the United States and director of the Center, the interdisciplinary center focuses on understanding the mechanisms of the immune system (dysfunction of the immune system that leads to allergic reactions). As a leader in allergy research, the Center collaborates with other researchers around the world to create a data-sharing information cluster from their interconnected satellite centers to conduct novel and innovative clinical trials in allergy research.
The center includes Stanford experts in a variety of fields, including immunology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, chemistry, bioengineering, pathology, pulmonology, and genetics, and through laboratory and computational research, clinical trials, community outreach, and other efforts, the team is committed to finding rational-based treatments that will provide the safest and best treatment for allergies and asthma. The center's research may have implications for a wide range of immune disorders, including asthma, eczema, food allergies, eosinophilic disorders, drug allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, and more.
The Center has led or participated in many clinical trials to develop new therapies for allergic diseases, and their research covers a wide range of patients, representing diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and they offer equal access to all allergy and asthma patients, as long as they meet the conditions of the study parameters.
The main research areas of the Center are food allergy research:
Through the immune mechanisms of oral immunotherapy (OIT) desensitization and tolerance, they are investigating the potential role of different immune cell subsets, which are important for achieving desensitization and ultimate tolerance (persistent non-response) to food allergens, using blood and tissue samples from food allergy study participants who received different immunotherapies.
Develop better and safer diagnostic tools for food allergies. Oral food provocation testing (OFC), the current gold standard for clinical diagnosis of food allergy, presents challenges to patient safety and requires extensive clinical oversight. They are working with colleagues in Stanford's Department of Bioengineering to develop new methods and tools that employ microfluidics and proteomics.
Epigenetic factors in twins with food allergy. They are examining immune cells from twins with food allergies to better understand the epigenetic factors that contribute to the development and progression of food allergies.