2018 AIFA grant announcement coming soon
28 August 2018:
This 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
It’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
The 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:
Submissions 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:
The 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
Understanding FPIES research results
In 2015, AIFA funded a research project seeking to advance our understanding of food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES). FPIES is an allergic disorder that occurs in approximately 1 in 10,000 children. Most affected children have their first reaction before one year of age. The main symptom of FPIES is profuse vomiting, which can be accompanied by pallor, floppiness, hypotension and hypothermia. The most common triggers for FPIES in Australia are staple foods such as cow’s milk, rice, oats, soy and eggs. Rice remains the most common cause of FPIES in Australian infants.
A $10,000 grant was awarded to a research team seeking to determine how the immune system reacts in children during an acute FPIES reaction. By better understanding how the immune system reacts, the team hopes to be able to direct potential diagnostic testing and treatments in the future.
It was previously assumed that FPIES was caused by an immune cell, called a T-cell. However this research showed the innate immune system, which is the first line of immunological defence, is what was most activated in infants during their acute FPIES reaction.
Read more: Understanding FPIES research results
AusPollen App questionnaire
The Auspollen project was one of the first research projects funded by AIFA. Auspollen continues to expand and now invites people with hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and/or asthma that is made worse by allergens in the air, to evaluate free local AusPollen Apps.
The Apps provide daily levels of pollen in the air and can be accessed on the AusPollen website www.pollenforecast.com.au or via iTunes, Google Play Apps, twitter and facebook.
To help evaluate usefulness of the AusPollen Apps and improve this service, please complete a short questionnaire before and after the pollen season. The questionnaire opens on October 20, 2017 and the link is http://survey.qut.edu.au/f/190401/43d7/)
This research will help us know where to locate future pollen count sites and determine if there are local triggers that make hay fever and asthma worse.
Read more: AusPollen App questionnaire