SickKids receives World Allergy Organization Center of Excellence Designation
The SickKids Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Program (FAAP) within the Division of Immunology & Allergy at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), has been designated a WAO Center of Excellence (WCOE) by the World Allergy Organization (WAO).
“We are very proud to receive this internationally recognized designation as a testament to our past, present and ongoing dedication to improving the lives of people with food allergy through patient care, education, research, advocacy and collaboration,” says Dr. Julia Upton, Co-Director of SickKids FAAP, Staff Immunologist and Allergist, and Medical Director of the Clinical Research Centre at SickKids.
The WAO is a collaborative international organization composed of over 100 allergy and immunology associations with the mission to provide resources to promote high-quality clinical care within the field of allergy. The WAO’s vision includes improving allergy care globally and spreading understanding of the WAO’s initiatives. WCOE’s designation (2023–2025 term) to SickKids recognizes organizations and societies that align with the WAO’s mission and vision and have demonstrated excellence in scientific and clinical research, education and training.
Since Dr. Eyal Grunebaum (Co-Director of SickKids FAAP) launched the program in 2013, SickKids FAAP has made great progress to support the overarching goal of a future without the fear of food, through conducting multiple clinical trials investigating potential treatment options for food allergy and performing innovative science research.
Recent SickKids FAAP research highlights include the validation of the basophil activation test as a highly accurate method to diagnose nut allergies, and the novel finding that lower levels of an enzyme called PAF-AH in the blood of children with allergies can help with predicting those with a higher risk of severe reactions. International collaborative projects includes the ALLEVIATE2 study investigating a new immunotherapy approach for nut allergies, and the recently published EPITOPE study showing immunotherapy in the form of skin patches to be an effective treatment for toddlers with peanut allergies.
The vision of SickKids FAAP includes improving approaches to diagnose allergies, investigating effective and safe allergy treatments and immunotherapies, allergy awareness and public education, national and international collaboration with other allergy organizations performing breakthrough research, and improving the quality of life of patients with allergies and their families.
Generous donor support has enabled major strides in the fight against food allergy, resulting in support of SickKids Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Program's overarching goal of a future without the fear of food.