Update 17 July 2013
The next round of funding will welcome applications from 1st October 2013, for funding in 2014
We recently launched a small grants programme for research projects that are being conducted to help improve the lives of those affected by severe allergy. The grants were available to UK based students who are currently an MSc, MA or PhD or an early career researcher.
The successful applicants and details of their studies are below. We wish them all the best with their research."
Siân Ludman, Imperial College, London
“My study is entitled Pollen Food Syndrome in children and I am investigating a small cohort of 54 children from birth to 16 with hayfever who attend a tertiary allergy clinic in London.
Within that cohort we are looking at what percentage suffer from pollen food syndrome, also known as oral allergy syndrome. This is a condition where children with hayfever can start to develop oral symptoms to fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts. This can be very unpleasant, but doesn't often develop in to a full blown allergic reaction. There is a lot of data published in adults, but much less in children. We want to know how young it starts in children and how it can affect their quality of life.
We are also comparing standard skin prick testing using fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts to the new ISAC 112 microarray blood test. We are hoping to start to see which test correlates better to symptoms. We will be looking at the sensitivity profile from each investigation and how it changes and develops as children age.
This is a really exciting small project and will form the basis of my final year project for my MSc in Allergy at Imperial college, London and I am incredibly grateful to Anaphylaxis UK small grants scheme for allowing me to be able to carry out this study.”
Ruth Chalmers , Allergy Dietitian, St Mary’s Hospital
Allergy – What can I eat?
“My name is Ruth Chalmers and I am the Allergy Dietitian at St Mary’s Hospital part of Imperial College NHS Health care trust. I am currently studying for a Masters in allergy at Imperial College London.
Initially, I carried out a questionnaire on 100 parents/guardians and children over the age of 8 with allergies to dairy, egg and or nuts to identify what patients and their families find difficult about managing their food allergies. The key findings were that families increasingly are struggling to find appropriate allergen free foods and more often than not advice focuses on what the patient can’t eat not what they can eat. Families overwhelmingly said they wanted product education on what they can eat and agreed this information could be provided via a web based video link.
As a result of these finding the aim of my project is to create three videos providing education on; Dairy – what I can eat, Egg – what I can eat and Nuts – what I can eat. These videos will initially made accessible to parents of patients who attend St Mary’s Hospital via a password protected web based video link. Prior to and after watching the video’s parents will be asked to complete a validate disease specific quality of life questionnaire and confidence tool. The results from the questionnaires and confidence tools will be collated and analysed to see if providing information on what individuals who have an allergy to dairy and or egg and or nuts can eat improves the families quality of life and confidence tool score."
Sara Namvar, Research Associate, School of Translational Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, The University of Manchester
“A large proportion of those with severe asthma or more serious conditions such as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis have allergy to moulds, in particular Aspergillus fumigatus. Exposure to the allergens produced by Aspergillus fumigatus can lead to severe exacerbations and in some instances anaphylaxis. Protease allergens produced by moulds up regulate the expression of many factors, including thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP). TSLP is known to be essential for promoting allergy and emerging evidence also suggests its involvement in thickening and scarring of the airways in the lung (airway wall remodelling).
Our group has established a novel model of Aspergillus fumigatus induced airway inflammation and airway remodelling. Using our laboratory model, we will determine whether down regulation of TSLP will prevent airway inflammation, airway hyperreactivity and airway remodelling in response to Aspergillus fumigates.”