New York, NY (April 4, 2019) — The Food Allergy Fund, a non-profit committed to bridging the funding gap for scientific research into food allergies, hosted the inaugural Food Allergy Fund Summit today at the Paley Center for Media in New York, NY to help change the national conversation on food allergies.
Leading doctors and scientists shared the latest research on the causes and treatments for food allergies, celebrity chefs shared how to build strong relationships with food-allergic customers and why that is good for business, parents turned food allergy advocates discussed the new policies and legislation they are driving to protect the 32 million people living with food allergies, and entrepreneurs shared their products to improve the lives of food allergic people.
In addition, U.S. Representative Ro Khanna shared a message from Washington, D.C. about his work with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal to double the National Institute for Health’s (NIH) funding for food allergies. Linsey Davis, News Correspondent for ABC News, served as the emcee for the Summit.
During today’s event, Ilana Golant, Founder and CEO of the Food Allergy Fund, announced Patrick Brennan. M.D., Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Harvard University, Allergy & Immunology, as the winner of the inaugural Food Allergy Fund Innovators Research Grant. Dr. Brennan received the award as the lead investigator on behalf of a team of ten collaborators from six institutions in the U.S. and U.K. studying the guts of infants with and without food allergies to determine if the presence of certain lipids has a protective effect. The scientists will also explore these potentially protective lipids in children with food allergy and in those who have outgrown it. This investigation will provide critical data toward the development of a new therapeutic approach to treating food allergy.
Food allergies are an emerging public health concern. Researchers estimate close to six million children—out of 32 million Americans overall—are affected by food allergies. That's one in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom -- a 50% increase from 1997 to 2011. Every three minutes a person goes to the emergency room for an allergic reaction and one in 10 adults has a food allergy.
“Despite these startling statistics, scientific research into food allergies is severely underfunded and the general public isn’t aware of the prevalence or severity of food allergies,” said Ilana Golant. “This is why I created the Food Allergy Fund and I’m thrilled we were able to share a full agenda of dynamic speakers with a diverse audience today to help raise more awareness and funding for this potentially life-threatening disease.”
The Food Allergy Fund is dedicated to funding food allergy research focused on the underlying causes of food allergies and improved treatments for people with food allergies. The Food Allergy Fund enlists celebrity ambassadors, industry partners, and individuals to raise public awareness and to support scientific research. To learn more, visit www.foodallergyfund.org.