A Food Allergy Center of Excellence

With leadership from Anne Marie Singh, MD (Associate Professor, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology), UW Health University Hospital has become one the newest centers of excellence in the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) Clinical Network, a food allergy research collaborative comprising 33 leading research and clinical care facilities nationwide.

Membership in the FARE Clinical Network demonstrates a commitment to providing high-quality clinical food allergy expertise and services, with a focus on applying new evidence-based knowledge.

It’s also a powerful driver of research, enabling faculty to attract clinical trials and develop best practices to improve the care of patients with a potentially life-threatening—and increasingly prevalent—disease.

Food allergies affect one in 13 children; of those, more than 40 percent have required emergency room care or experienced a severe or life-threatening reaction (source). In Wisconsin, diagnoses of severe food allergy have increased 75 percent since 2009 (source).

“UW Health is always seeking to advance the health of our patients through service and science. [We] pursue this mission with a vision and vigor matched by FARE’s commitment to addressing this growing disease,” says Dr. Singh, who directs the center of excellence team.

“Joining the FARE Clinical Network will allow our specialists to continue to provide excellent care, while contributing to breakthroughs in the treatment of food allergies.”

An Expert on Food Allergy and Related Diseases

Dr. Singh is a 2008 graduate of the UW Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program. She then joined the faculty of the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where she collaborated with a general pediatrician and an immunologist to establish a Food Allergy Research Consortium there.

In September 2017, she returned to UW as an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology.

Dr. Singh’s research focuses on how environmental and microbial exposure in early life affects immune development and the development of not only food allergies, but also eczema, allergic rhinitis and asthma.

(Watch a video of a November 2018 Pediatrics Grand Rounds, in which Dr. Singh and pediatric dermatologist Lisa Arkin, MD, talk about the pathophysiology of eczema and how it can lead to a cascade of other allergic diseases.)

Team is ‘One of the Strongest in the Nation’

In addition to Dr. Singh, the UW Health FARE team includes:

 

The team’s current research includes studies of T-cell responses in eosinophilic esophagitis, food allergy and eczema in a high-risk birth cohort, and peanut extract sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) as an adjuvant to peanut allergy therapy in adult and adolescent patients.

“I came back to UW because the group here is one of the strongest in the nation for pediatric asthma,” Dr. Singh recalls. “I want to put us on the map as an expert place for clinical care, research and education on food allergy.”