Utrecht University (logo) (logo)
Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht (logo)

Therapeutic approaches for food allergy

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Raymond Pieters, PhD

Food allergy results from an abnormal immune response to food and this allergic reaction can sometimes cause serious illness and death. To date, there is no cure or therapy for food allergies and there are no models to predict the allergenic potential of novel foods. In established food allergy models in mice, we investigate the role of various immune cells (such as (regulatory) T cells, intraepithelial lymphocytes cells and dendritic cells in the initiation and maintenance of food allergy. Studying the interaction of these cells with intestinal epithelial cell enables to determine processes that are responsible for the balance between oral tolerance en sensitization to food proteins. The influence of environmental substances such as AhR ligands (e.g. TCDD) , drugs (NSAIDs) and probiotics on this balance is examined as well. Knowledge on these fundamental mechanisms will be translated to therapies and risk assessment approaches.

Research in this project is done in collaboration with TNO, UMC and UIPS in the Utrecht Centre for Food Allergy, the University of Applied Sciences (HU) and with the department of Immunobiology, King’s College London. In a recently granted STW project a strategy will be develop to translate experimental in vitro and in vivo findings to clinically applicable therapies against food allergy.

6 or 9 months

Dr Raymond Pieters, r.h.h.pieters@uu.nl, tel. 030-2533565

More info
IRAS website, immunotoxicology