Research by faculty in the Division of Allergy and Immunology has been diverse. Areas of investigations in recent years have included asthma, food allergy, semen allergy and urticaria. We have participated in several clinical trials of novel medications to treat allergic disease, most recently evaluating a new medication to treat a rare condition called hereditary angioneurotic edema.
Current research activities include:
- Environmental epigenetics and asthma, allergy. The major goals are to assess the role of short-term black carbon/soot exposure, nickel and vanadium on DNA methylation of asthma genes and airway inflammation and obstruction in inner city children age 9 to 13 years. Additional studies in other cohorts will look at mouse allergen intervention and DNA methylation of asthma regulatory genes in collaboration with investigators at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University (Rachel Miller MD) R01ES13163, R21 AI101296
- Air pollution exposure and asthma, allergy. These projects seek to understand when and how airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and diesel particles increase the risk of asthma and allergy. This work also seeks to improve clinical treatment, evaluate the success of a public policy intervention, and implement physician education initiatives as a mode of intervention. The work is in collaboration with the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health CCCEH.org (Rachel Miller MD, Associate Director, Lead Physician Scientist, Project Leader; Frederica Perera, DrPH, Director) P50 ES015905
- Chemical (phthalates, pesticides, bisphenol A) exposure and asthma, allergy. These research projects aim to determine whether early prenatal and childhood exposure to phthalates, pesticides, bisphenol A are associated with the current asthma and proallergic immunoglobulin (Ig) E production, and whether current exposures to chemicals are associated with augmented airway inflammation and diminished lung function (Robin Whyatt, DrPH, ES014393, RC2 ES018784; Rachel Miller, MD Thrasher Research Fund)
- Comparative effectiveness of environmental intervention and standard care in ability to reduce asthma step therapy. The study rigorously tests national guidelines in asthma care and fills a gap in understanding the importance of environmental remediation as it compares with need for pharmacological therapy for asthma control (Emily DiMango) R01 HS019384
- Urban Environment And Childhood Asthma (URECA): The objectives of the Inner City Asthma Consortium are to implement a long range scientific plan to reduce asthma severity and prevent asthma among inner city children, and to identify the mechanisms involved in the immunopathogenesis of asthma in these populations (Rachel Miller MD with William Busse, MD and Meyer Kattan, MD) N01-AI-90052/HHSN272200900052C
- Phenotyping/Epigenetic studies of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-associated T-regulatory cell impairment in asthma. In collaboration with investigators at Stanford University, the goal of this research is to further understand the link between indicators of exposure to air pollution and outcomes on asthma by studying immune system changes (T regulatory cells) in exposed subjects (Rachel Miller, MD with Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD) RO1 ES020926