News

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AusPollen PreSeason Questionnaire

2 October 2018

PollenLocal AusPollen Apps provide daily levels of pollen in the air, which can help if you have hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or if your asthma is made worse by allergens in the air. The Apps are available at www.pollenforecast.com.au

To help the AusPollen team evaluate usefulness of the Apps and how they can improve this service, please complete a short questionnaire before and after the pollen season. The survey can be found at https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/192287/435d/

This research will help the AusPollen Team to know where to site future pollen count stations and also determine if there are local triggers that make hay fever and asthma worse.  If you would like to know more about the AusPollen project please contact Prof. Janet Davies, Queensland University of Technology by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This research is funded by NHMRC Partnership Project GNT1116107 and co-sponsorship from partner organisations.

Allergic asthma project receives 2018 AIFA research grant

7 September 2018

ullah news imageAsthma is a chronic lung disease affecting millions of Australians. There is no cure for asthma and current treatment options for asthma are merely supportive. Asthma affects people of all ages, but most often starts during childhood. Sensitisation to allergens is one of the major risk factors for asthma onset.   The AIFA Board is pleased to announce that a project entitled “P2RY13 – a novel therapeutic target for allergic asthma” led by Dr Md Ashik Ullah of QIMR Berghofer has been chosen as the recipient of a $30,000 AIFA research grant.

Dr Ullah, a respiratory immunologist, is investigating the consequences of allergen exposure in the lungs and the processes that predispose to allergic sensitisation.

The airway lumen of the lungs is lined by airway epithelial cells, which in response to allergen exposure, release innate inflammatory mediators or ‘alarmins’. Dr Ullah has shown that these alarmins promote the allergic inflammation that contributes to airway wall remodelling and bronchoconstriction, making it difficult to breathe. A potential treatment approach therefore would be to halt the release of alarmins. Dr Ullah has novel data to suggest that the purinergic receptor P2RY13 regulates alarmin release from airway epithelial cells.

Dr Ullah will investigate whether the antagonism of P2RY13 attenuates the release of alarmins in response to different allergens. Ultimately, these findings could lead to the development of new therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of asthma.

Congratulations to Dr Ullah and his research team at QIMR Berghofer.

2018 AIFA grant announcement coming soon

28 August 2018

sciencing newsletterThis year’s AIFA grant recipient will be announced at the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Annual Conference on Friday 7 September 2018.

This year AIFA grants have drawn interest and collaborations from researchers all over Australia. A record 21 EOIs were received. These EOIs covered topics as varied as diagnosing allergy, predicting allergic diseases, Graves’ disease, common variable immune deficiency, signalling in primary immunodeficiencies, urticaria, insect allergy, drug allergy and allergic asthma.

After much hard work by our Grant Selection Panel, 5 projects were shortlisted and finally 1 selected. We look forward to publicly announcing the successful recipient next week.

Past successful projects include the AusPollen project, Mevalonate kinase deficiency (MKD) and Jack Jumper Ant Allergy. Further details on these and other past projects can be found at www.allergyimmunology.org.au/projects

All of the projects have the potential to make a difference to the diagnosis, management and treatment of allergy and other immune disease. Help us to fund more projects by donating at www.allergyimmunology.org.au/donate

Allergic to exercise?

8 August 2018

exercise ana newsletterIt’s not always a joke. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is a rare but real disorder. It causes people to have an allergic response to exercise. Yes, exercise can really trigger asthma, hay fever (rhinitis), hives (urticaria) and even anaphylaxis. Some people have symptoms with exercise alone while for others it is set off by a food eaten in the hours prior to exercise.

The severity of symptoms is mostly influenced by how much food is eaten, how active the exercise is and the time between the two. This means that severe symptoms are usually due to food eaten within a few hours of the exercise.

Wheat tends to be the most common culprit. But there have also been reports other foods like seafood, nuts, and some types of fruit and vegetables causing symptoms too.

Treatment includes avoiding "trigger foods" and keeping an EpiPen with you at all times.

Nutritionist Sandra Vale has an exercise-induced wheat allergy and recently spoke with SBS about how she manages it. Her story can be found at www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2018/08/03/how-i-live-exercise-induced-wheat-allergy

Nip Allergies in the Bub launch

27 August 2018

2018NAITB launch webThe National Allergy Strategy Food Allergy Prevention Project “Nip Allergies in the Bub” was launched today in Western Australia, where it will be piloted for a year, before it is launched throughout Australia. This project is the first in the world to promote feeding children the common allergy causing foods by one year of age, to help prevent food allergy from developing.

The website www.preventallergies.org.au contains practical information for parents and carers about introducing foods and managing eczema for allergy prevention. It also includes information and resources for health professionals.

It is important to note that the websites and other resources developed for National Allergy Strategy projects can also be used in New Zealand.

AIFA’s 2018 grant round opens 15 January

January 10, 2018

grant research graphicSubmissions for AIFA's 2018 grant round will open on January 15 and close on April 6, 2018. AIFA supports innovative early stage projects, encourages collaborative research, prioritises early career researchers (working 3-5 years after completion of their PhD) and provides opportunities to leverage further funding.

To be eligible for an AIFA grant, applicants need to be associated with a non-profit institution in Australia or New Zealand, with the facilities to carry out the research detailed in the application.  Applications are not restricted to ASCIA members.

Previously funded projects include Jack Jumper Ant allergy treatment, understanding FPIES and the AusPollen project. More details of these and other funded projects can be found on our projects page www.allergyimmunology.org.au/projects

To apply for this grant round please review the eligibility criteria and download an EOI form at www.allergyimmunology.org.au/grants

Read more: AIFA’s 2018 grant round opens 15 January

AIFA announces 2017 research grants

4 December 2017

Dr. Marcia Munoz and teamThe AIFA Board is pleased to announce that a project entitled “A new approach to overcome a childhood autoinflammatory disease” led by Dr Marcia Munoz of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has been chosen as the recipient of a $30,000 AIFA research grant. This brings the total AIFA grant figure to $130,000 in the last 4 years.


A NEW APPROACH TO OVERCOME A CHILDHOOD AUTOINFLAMMATORY DISEASE

Mevalonate kinase deficiency (MKD) is a lifelong autoinflammatory disease that usually appears in infancy. It is characterised by regular episodes of fever often accompanied by rashes, headaches, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting and diarrhea.

Read more: AIFA announces 2017 research grants

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