Amal Assa’ad, MD
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMS)
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
A presenting complaint of food allergy constitutes over half the presentations in my own allergy/immunology practice today. This is paralleled by other practices around the United States and around the world, as expressed by my national and international colleagues.
Luckily, research in food allergy has mirrored the same trend and has exploded in recent years. The research and publications have extended from the mere recognition of food allergy to descriptions of its occurrence in various age groups, in racially and ethnically diverse populations, and in disparate socio-economic classes and environments. The research has extended to previously untapped aspects of the disorder including how patients and their families cope with their food allergies to promising work on food allergy pathophysiology, grading of severity, and diagnostics. Research has shifted the paradigms from avoidance of the food allergen to a proven role for early introduction in the prevention of a food allergy. Because there is tremendous diversity in the approach to food allergy in regions around the world, guidelines have been recently created regionally and worldwide. These advances open the door for the application of novel research techniques to yet unresolved areas in food allergy: from its genetic basis and early predictive factors, the predisposing factors, factors that led to its widespread prevalence and its dramatic rise in incidence in less than a span of a generation, from diagnosis to the holy grail – a cure for food allergy.
This section in the World Allergy Organization Journal will cover this rapidly evolving and wide spectrum of research that comes from around the world and that will resolve our gaps in knowledge in this important life altering disorder for millions around the world.
About Amal Assa’ad
Amal Assa’ad, MD, is Professor at the University of Cincinnati (UC), Director of Clinical Services and Associate Director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology (A/I) at Cincinnati Children Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Dr. Assa’ad is the Director of the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Food Allergy Clinical and Research Center of Excellence at CCHMC. She has been certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and maintains certification by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.
Dr. Assa’ad graduated summa cum laude from the American College for Girls, Cairo, Egypt and obtained her M.D. degree with Honors from Ain shams University Medical School in Cairo, Egypt. She obtained a master’s degree in Internal Medicine from Ain Shams University Graduate School with a thesis on food allergy testing. After a residency in Internal Medicine at the Cairo University Affiliated Hospitals, she studied food allergy at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, completed a residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at Michigan State University and at Wright State University and an allergy/immunology fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Assa’ad has received national awards, including the Clemens von Pirquet Award from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), and the Women in Allergy Award from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) and the Woman in Allergy Award from the ACAAI.
Dr. Assa’ad has multiple leadership roles on national and international organizations and committees, including current Chair of the Food Allergy and Eosinophilic Disorders (FAED) interest section of the AAAAI, past member of the board of AAAAI and past chair of the Women in Allergy Committee of the ACAAI, both the ACAAI and the AAAAI Adverse Food Reactions Committee, and the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program Directors Committee. She has been member of the editorial board of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and is current member of the editorial board of the World Allergy Organization Journal. She has been a member of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Expert Panel on Food Allergy Guidelines and Prevention of Peanut Allergy, and a member of the Diagnosis and Rationale for Action against Cow’s Milk Allergy (DRACMA) Guidelines sponsored by World Allergy Organization.
Dr. Assa’ad’s current research focuses on food allergy and related allergic conditions. She is primary investigator on multiple clinical trials on food allergy. Her research on racial disparities in food allergy and the genetics of food allergy is funded by NIH and FARE. She directs the FARE Biobank and Biomarker Discovery Center, which is located at CCHMC and serves the FARE Food Allergy Centers Network (FCN) of over 50 centers around the United States.
Dr. Assa’ad is a sought after local, national and international speaker, aided by her fluency in four languages. Dr. Assa’ad is a prolific writer with over 100 peer-reviewed publications of original research, reviews, and editorials in addition to book chapters and guest editorship of scientific journals. She is an astute clinician treating thousands of patients who seek her expertise locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. She is an educator whose trainees are now among the Who’s Who in Allergy and Immunology. She has consistently hosted visiting trainees to spread the knowledge, science, and excellent clinical care to patients with allergic conditions, especially food allergy, around the world.