Food Allergy Clinical Research Program

Project overview

The PCH Food Allergy Clinical Research Program aims to improve the health and wellbeing of WA children and their families by reducing the burden of food allergy. This program leverages off the expertise of a diverse team of allergy/immunology specialists, general practice, emergency medicine, dietetics, nurses and scientists to create a clinical and translational research program for food allergy at Perth Children’s Hospital.

Project aims

Rachael Wallace, Bianca Le, Ashleigh Kenworthy

Image | Rachael Wallace, Bianca Le, Ashleigh Kenworthy

  • Improve timely access to high-value care to families living with food allergy
    • Report and monitor the incidence of food allergy in 12-month old infants in Western Australia using SmartStartAllergy (SSA), a novel SMS and smartphone-based application embedded in general practices across WA.
    • Implement new collaborative community-based models of care in partnership with GPs including streamlined access to timely specialist advice.
  • Provide treatment opportunities for West Australian children with food allergies
    • Conduct practical food-based trials of oral immunotherapy (OIT) to demonstrate efficacy, safety and tolerability of OIT in our WA community and support translation to practice.
    • Participating in national and international investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored studies for the treatment of food allergy.
  • Engage with consumers to create a clinical registry for children with food allergy. This will measure outcomes that are important to patients, providing real world evidence for the most effective ways to manage food allergy and improve quality of life for children and their families.

Current studies

To hear more about our current and any upcoming research studies, please register your interest or email

Recruiting in 2022

  • Early Peanut Immunotherapy in Children (EPIC) EPIC peanut allergy trial launches at PCH – Oral immunotherapy for children with peanut allergy, <5 years of age.
  • Early Reintroduction of Nuts for ImmunothErapy (ERNIE) – Multi-nut oral immunotherapy for children under 5 with allergy to one or more tree nuts +/- peanut.
  • Consumer Anaphylaxis Simulation Training – Scenario-based training in anaphylaxis management for parents and carers of children with severe allergies.
  • Peanut allergy treatment trial for 6 to 17 year olds (industry-sponsored, pending site approval).

Ongoing studies, not actively recruiting

  • SmartStartAllergy (SSA) - Piecing the paediatric food allergy puzzle together
  • Viaskin Peanut patch – DBV Technologies
  • Peanut and Probiotic Oral Immunotherapy (PPOIT) study, now in long term follow-up

Project Researchers

Meera Thalayasingam, Ingrid Roche, Michael O’Sullivan, Kristina Rueter, Jessica Metcalfe

Image | Meera Thalayasingam, Ingrid Roche, Michael O’Sullivan, Kristina Rueter, Jessica Metcalfe

PCH Food Allergy Program is led by Dr Michael O’Sullivan, Immunologist at Perth Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with clinicians and scientists from PCH, Telethon Kids Institute, UWA and general practice.

  • Dr Michael O’Sullivan – Lead investigator
  • Dr Jessica Metcalfe – Postdoctoral Scientist, Senior Research Coordinator
  • Dr Alan Leeb – General Practitioner
  • A/Prof Kristina Rueter – Paediatric Immunologist and Emergency Physician
  • Dr Meera Thalayasingam – Paediatric Immunologist
  • Dr David Martino – Postdoctoral Scientist, TKI Team Lead
  • Ingrid Roche – Dietitian
  • Professor Susan Prescott – Paediatric Immunologist
  • Dr Samara Baldwin – Paediatric Immunologist
  • Rachael Wallace – Clinical Research Nurse
  • Samantha Thomas – Clinical Research Nurse
  • Ashleigh Kenworthy – Clinical Research Nurse
  • Sarah Miller – Research Assistant
  • Dr Jaslyn Ong – Research Fellow
  • Dr Abigail Hudson – Study Doctor


Funding Partners

Last Updated: 06/05/2022