An infant is checked by a doctor

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s (MCRI) Associate Professor Rachel Peters has been recognised for her research into the link between food allergy and respiratory health.

Associate Professor Peters has received a Stallergenes Greer Foundation Science Award for Allergy for her research aiming to reduce the adverse effects of infant food allergy – affecting up to 10 per cent of children – on future health. Associate Professor Peters received the Innovation Award under the Rising Talent Category.

Her latest study found having a food allergy as a baby was linked to asthma and reduced lung function at six years of age. The findings have sparked greater clinical vigilance around the monitoring of respiratory health of children with food allergies.

Allergy expert Associate Professor Rachel Peters

Image: Associate Professor Rachel Peters

The accolade also comes as Associate Professor Peters was honoured with the Asthma and Airways Career Development Fellowship from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) and National Asthma Council Australia (NAC).

The fellowship will help Associate Professor Peters produce an asthma risk prediction tool for children.

Associate Professor Peters said these accolades would help further her research into improving the quality of life for children living with allergies and provide clinicians with more accurate tools to detect early asthma risk.

“Development of an asthma prediction model that integrates food allergy is of critical importance to help identify young children at high risk of developing asthma, especially with the high prevalence of food allergy in Australia,” she said.

“A prediction model would greatly assist clinicians to provide early asthma diagnoses and management and promote prevention strategies in high-risk children.”

child in hospital

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