Children’s Hospital joins Food Allergy Research and Education Clinical Network

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s new pediatric food allergy clinic has been named a Center of Excellence by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).

Children’s Hospital also joined the FARE Clinical Network — a food allergy research collaborative comprised of 31 leading research and clinical care facilities across the country, and will participate in cutting-edge research and clinical trials for patients in Tennessee and surrounding states.

Led by Jonathan Hemler, MD, assistant professor of Pediatrics within the Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonology, the clinic is a collaboration between Hemler, dietitian Nancy Cranford, MS, RD, LDN, and a research nurse, who will handle patient recruitment for basic science research projects and work on clinical trials.

An estimated 1 in 13 children is affected by food allergies — about two children in every classroom. A food allergy is a medical condition in which exposure to certain foods triggers a harmful immune response, which can range from mild (itchiness, hives) to severe or life-threatening (difficulty breathing, throat tightening).

The FARE Clinical Network seeks to accelerate the development of effective approaches to food allergy treatment while improving the quality of patient care for this potentially life-threatening disease that affects 15 million Americans.

While more than 170 foods are known to cause allergic reactions, the most common are known as the Top 8 — milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, soy and wheat. The number of children with peanut and tree nut allergies tripled between 1997 and 2008.

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