Seattle Food Allergy ConsortiumBasic Science Research
Seattle Food Allergy Consortium Partners

Basic Science Research

Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) is an international leader in immune system research translating discoveries to real life applications.  Much of BRI’s emphasis is on solving the puzzle of autoimmune and allergic conditions by unlocking the mysteries of the immune system.  Basic science medical research projects at BRI are investigating allergic disease at the genetic and molecular levels and are being translated into understanding how these approaches can be applied to patients.  BRI is using these therapies and discoveries in clinical research and trials to bring new medical advances to people at the earliest opportunity. 


Email:  [email protected]

Phone Number:  206-287-5605


Dr. Kwok received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin. After completing his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Washington in 1983, he remained in Seattle completing post-doctoral research work at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center before moving to the Virginia Mason Research Center (later renamed the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason). Since 1988, he has been a principle investigator at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason.

Dr. Kwok’s laboratory is currently studying how T-lymphocytes, which are important immune cells that direct the immune response in allergy, recognize and potentially cause allergy in peanut, tree nut, cow milk and shellfish allergic individuals.  His goal is to identify new, more accurate ways to diagnose food allergy and also to identify potential new treatment options for food allergy.

You can learn more about Dr. Kwok’s work at: 

STEVEN F. ZIEGLER, PHDSteven F. Ziegler, PhD

Email:  [email protected]

Phone Number:  206-287-5657


Dr. Ziegler graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 1979, and in 1984 received his PhD in molecular biology from UCLA. Following post-doctoral training at the University of Washington, Dr. Ziegler spent five years as a staff scientist at Immunex, followed by three years as the Director of Immunology/Molecular Biology at Darwin Molecular. He joined the Benaroya Research Institute as an Associate Member in 1997. He is currently Director of the Immunology Program at Benaroya Research Institute, and is an Affiliate Professor in the Immunology Department, University of Washington School of Medicine.

Dr. Zeigler’s laboratory is studying a molecule called thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP). They have discovered that TSLP is an important activation signal for allergic disease development.  His lab is studying how TSLP regulates the development of allergic disease and is looking at ways to block its signal as a way to inhibit, prevent and treat allergic disease.

You can learn more about Dr. Ziegler’s work at: