Arkansas Center for Food Allergy Research receives $2.3 million award

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 157 views 

The Arkansas Center for Food Allergy Research (ArCOFAR) at the Little Rock-based Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI) has received a $2.3 million award from the National Institutes of Health.

The seven-year award will equip the center to continue hosting therapeutic trials, longitudinal studies and research design concepts all aimed at improving the lives of children who have allergies to foods including peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat and tree nuts.

Earlier this year, research conducted at the center led to the first FDA-approved biologic treatment for children and adults with allergy to peanuts and multiple food allergies.

“The ArCOFAR team is committed to excellence in delivering state-of-the art clinical care, innovative education and mentoring, and cutting-edge translational research,” said Dr. Stacie Jones, who leads the center, is a principal investigator for many of its studies and treats allergy patients at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH). “We have seen astounding advancements for families affected by food allergies over the last 20 years, but our work is far from done. The next phase of funding will help us create better opportunities for global implementation of the most effective therapeutic and prevention options.”

Jones is also a professor of pediatric allergy and immunology in the University of Arkansas for Medical Science (UAMS) College of Medicine.

The funding renews a 2017 award that created ArCOFAR as part of a network of institutions researching and evaluating new approaches to treat and prevent food allergies. In 2005, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases established the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) to address gaps in understanding the natural history of food allergies and to advance the development of effective therapeutic options for both children and adults. Arkansas Children’s Food Allergy Program was an inaugural center.

The renewed funding has three aims: growing study participation among diverse populations in rural and underserved regions; increasing research into new focus areas; and promoting career development for early-career food allergy scientists through mentoring and direct engagement.

ACRI is one of 10 CoFAR clinical sites. The others are at Boston Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University at Chicago, Stanford University, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.