Seattle Food Allergy ConsortiumResearch Partners | Seattle Food Allergy Consortium
Seattle Food Allergy Consortium Partners

Research Partners | Seattle Food Allergy Consortium

SeaFAC-infographicVirginia Mason Medical Center:

Virginia Mason Medical Center is a large multispecialty group practice of more than 450 doctors, a 336-bed hospital, several regional clinics, the Benaroya Research Institute, and other philanthropy endeavors including the Baily-Boushay House which is an AIDS care facility.   Virginia Mason Medical Center is recognized as one of the nation’s best health care facilities and is consistently ranked highly for outstanding quality of care.

Please see our website for more information:

The Virginia Mason Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology providers include Dr. Mary Farrington (SeaFAC Executive Committee), Dr. Joyce Lammert (Medical Director of the Virginia Mason Hospital), Dr. David Robinson (SeaFAC Advisory Board), and Dr. David Jeong (SeaFAC Advisory Board).  The allergists at Virginia Mason are currently working closely with world-renowned scientists at Benaroya Research Institute (see below) to conduct cutting-edge scientific research in allergic diseases, such as food allergy.  Dr. Mary Farrington is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Allergy/Immunology Division at University of Washington.  Drs. David Robinson and Joyce Lammert are Clinical Associate Professors of Medicine, Allergy/Immunology Division at University of Washington.  Dr. David Jeong is a Clinical Assistant Professor in both Pediatrics and Medicine, Allergy/Immunology Division at University of Washington.

Benaroya Research Institute:

Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) at Virginia Mason 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.  The cutting edge research at BRI has led to many collaborations with other prominent food allergy research scientists around the world.  BRI has also been actively involved in the University of Washington Allergy / Immunology fellowship training program, having closely trained and mentored fellows in food allergy research every year since 2008.

Please see the BRI website for more information:

Members of BRI who are on SeaFAC advisory board include Dr. Gerry Nepom, Director of BRI and of the Immune Tolerance Network, Dr. Bill Kwok and Dr. Steven Ziegler, research scientists at BRI.

Northwest Allergy and Asthma Center

The Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center (NAAC) is one of the largest allergy/immunology practices in the United States. NAAC providers have seen a dramatic rise in the number of food allergy patients in recent years. For example, in 2008 there were 6,000 NAAC office visits for food allergies and a food allergy diagnosis was coded in 33% of all office visits. By 2012 (Jan-Oct) there were 10,600 office visits for food allergies and food allergy diagnosis was coded in 44% of all office visits.

The physicians at the Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center are integrated with the other members of SeaFAC in several ways. First, ASTHMA Inc Clinical Research Center’s Board of Directors is composed of the NAAC physicians listed below, with the exception of Dr. Tilles, who is employed part-time by ASTHMA Inc Clinical Research Center as Executive Director. The ASTHMA Inc Clinical Research Center Board has approved more than $300,000 in financial support of the University of Washington Fellowship Training Program over the years, and several of these Fellows have devoted their research years to food allergy research projects. Dr. Furukawa and Dr. Altman have been particularly instrumental in securing financial support of the Fellowship Training Program. In addition, Dr. Virant serves as both the Chief of Allergy at Seattle Children’s and as Co-Director of the University of Washington Fellowship Training Program in Allergy/Immunology, and both Dr. Virant and Dr. Tilles serve on the University of Washington Fellowship Training Program Committee. Finally, all NAAC physicians have clinical faculty appointments at the University of Washington.

Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center Doctors:

Leonard C. Altman, MD; Clifton T. Furukawa, MD; Michael S. Kennedy, MD; Mary V. Lasley, MD; David R. Naimi, DO; Audrey Y. Park, MD, PhD; Ashley Jerath Tatum, MD; Stephen A. Tilles, MD; Thao Ngoc Tran, MD; Frank S. Virant, MD; John C. Walker, MD; Michael E. Weiss, MD; Paul V. Williams, MD; Jay D. Sprenger, MD

Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center mid-level providers:

Duane Frazier, PA-C; Michele Hinatsu, ARNP

ASTHMA Inc Clinical Research Center:

ASTHMA Inc Clinical Research Center is a 501c3 non-profit center who’s mission includes working toward finding a cure for allergic diseases by conducting clinical research (approximately 500 clinical trials conducted to date), supporting the University of Washington Fellowship Training Program, and supporting national allergy society initiatives. Although active participation in food allergy clinical research is long-standing, the proportion of ASTHMA Inc Clinical Research Center’s research focused on food allergies has gradually increased over the years. The ASTHMA Inc Clinical Research Center’s Board of Directors recognizes that food allergy has become the most significant unmet need in the allergy/immunology specialty, and it intends to continue to increase its commitment to food allergy clinical research.

Seattle Children’s Hospital

Seattle Children’s Hospital is dedicated to providing world class care to children and is consistently ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News and World Report magazine. The VIPES trial for peanut allergic children presented a new opportunity for cooperation among the clinicians and researchers in the Pacific Northwest who care for children with food allergies.

Seattle Children’s Clinical Research Center provided the specialized expertise required to conduct this study with the unique needs of children in mind. Working through Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies, members of SeaFAC demonstrated that a partnership among  clinical and research resources within the Seattle area was feasible and could serve as a model for working together to address the needs and concerns of patients and families with life-threatening food allergies.

This collaborative effort provides a basis for expanded services and new areas of inquiry in food allergy research with community assistance and involvement.

University of Washington:

The University of Washington is a world leader in medical research and clinical care.   UW Medicine ranks among the top medical schools in the country for the quality, volume, and breadth of its research.  Our faculty are remarkably successful at securing funding from the National Institutes of Health, consistently putting us in the top five of all medical schools for federal funding. The University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center are the top two hospitals in the state, and the medical school, which serves five western states, leads the world in primary care training

Within SeaFAC, UW Medicine plays a leading role in research and training. Under the leadership of Dr. William Henderson, UW Medicine is engaged in basic science research on molecular level reactions that lead to allergic responses. Being part of UW Medicine will help SeaFAC engage with scientists across disciplines such as those engaged in protein design work or in immune tolerance.  For example, it is possible that in the future, scientists will be able to identify the specific part of a protein that causes anaphylaxis, and be able to desensitize patients with therapies targeted at just those partial proteins, eliminating the risk of a life-threatening response during treatment.

UW Medicine will also take the lead within SeaFAC of recruiting and training the next generation of allergy doctors. Dr. Henderson oversees the Fellowship Training Program in allergy and immunology at the University of Washington.  One of the most important goals of SeaFAC will be to raise money to increase the number of Fellows to the number of highly trained allergy physicians in the region who are experts in the diagnosis and management of food allergies and who are capable of conducting food allergen challenges, and also increasing the overall body of knowledge about allergic disorders through their research.

Finally, UW Medicine actively participate in food desensitization studies by establishing its own challenge clinic at UW Medical Center and by conducting translational clinical research studies in food allergy.  A long-term goal is to attract top research talent with a track record in food allergy research to University of Washington to make us a world class center of food allergy investigation. Until basic research unlocks the molecular reactions that causes allergic responses, food desensitization offers the greatest hope for relief from food allergies in the near future.