Mount Sinai Researchers Awarded $12 Million NIH Grant to Create a Center to Unravel Novel Causes of Food Allergy and Atopic Dermatitis
Systems biology approach aims to identify biomarkers and mechanisms underlying these common conditions
Mount Sinai researchers have been awarded $12 million over five years by the National Institutes of Health to create a center to elucidate novel causes of, and contributing factors to, food allergies and atopic dermatitis.
The Systems Biology of Early Atopy (SunBEAm) Analysis and Bioinformatics Center intends to develop a better understanding of allergy development. The center will apply systems biology to identify early-life markers of risk for food allergies and atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema), as well as biological pathways underlying these common conditions, through the profiling and analysis of longitudinal multi-omics data from a multi-center pre-birth cohort of 2,500 children.
Food allergies and atopic dermatitis are complex diseases that affect nearly 8 percent and 20 percent of children, respectively. Food allergies are frequently preceded by atopic dermatitis, suggesting shared risk factors and overlapping pathobiology.
“Individuals with food allergies are at daily risk for potentially life-threatening conditions, including hives, respiratory distress, and/or anaphylaxis following ingestion of a food antigen to which they are sensitized. And for those suffering from atopic dermatitis, they live with chronically inflamed skin that can cover a significant proportion of their bodies,” said Supinda Bunyavanich, MD, MPH, MPhil, Mount Sinai Professor in Allergy and Systems Biology and Principal Investigator of the Center.
"This funding enables us to create a center that will make a significant impact on allergy research. A systems biology approach where the biology of these common conditions is investigated comprehensively at several levels may help identify new knowledge about the development of allergies, ultimately helping us to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and clinical management of food allergies and atopic dermatitis," said Dr. Bunyavanich.
The SunBEAm Analysis and Bioinformatics Center (NIH grant number 1UM1AI173380) includes investigators from Mount Sinai, Johns Hopkins, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Northwestern, and National Jewish Health. The SunBEAm birth cohort is a collaborative effort by investigators from 12 sites across the United States who are enrolling families for participation in this cohort study that follows parents and children from before birth through the child’s third birthday. SunBEAm is supported by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, and spearheaded by the Consortium for Food Allergy Research.
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The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is internationally renowned for its outstanding research, educational, and clinical care programs. It is the sole academic partner for the eight- member hospitals* of the Mount Sinai Health System, one of the largest academic health systems in the United States, providing care to a large and diverse patient population.
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Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.
Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: It is consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and top 20 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding and top 5 in the nation for numerous basic and clinical research areas. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.