#101 Ending Food Allergy with Professor Kari Nadeau

19 May 2021

Have you noticed the rapid rise in childhood food allergies? Peanuts, dairy, wheat, egg. All of these appear so commonly removed from children’s diets in schools and it’s not just children that are suffering. Adults are too. But is this a real phenomena and if so, why?

The numbers do not lie. Food allergy is a global phenomena afflicting 32 million Americans. One in 13 children in the US are diagnosed each year and the numbers are similar for the UK. One in 10 adults in both the US and UK have at least one food allergy. It costs 40 billion a year and worse still … it’s on the rise?

But today, I’m speaking to an esteemed colleague who is at the forefront of the fight against it and she believes that today is the beginning of the end of food allergies and we are at the start of curing this disease for good.

Professor Kari Nadeau is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and For more than 30 years, she has devoted herself to understanding how environmental and genetic factors affect the risk of developing allergies and asthma, and the molecular mechanisms underlying these diseases. Her research is laying the groundwork for a variety of potential future therapies to prevent and cure.


On today’s podcast we talk about:

  • Professor Kari’s early career and how she got interested in food allergy
  • The definition of food allergy and how that differs from intolerance
  • The environmental impact
  • Maternal diet and early infancy diet with food allergy
  • Addressing parental guilt
  • Retraining the immune system to cure food allergy
  • The role of the microbiota
  • The D’s of food allergy – Dryness, Dirt, DNA, Detergent, Vit D, Dogs, Diversity


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GUEST: Professor Kari Nadeau

Dr. Kari Nadeau is the Naddisy Foundation Endowed Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and, Director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University. She is Section Chief in Asthma and Allergy in the Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Division at Stanford. She is now the Sr. Director of Clinical Research for the Division of Hospital Medicine. For more than 30 years, she has devoted herself to understanding how environmental and genetic factors affect the risk of developing allergies and asthma, and the molecular mechanisms underlying the diseases. As one of the nation’s foremost experts in adult and pediatric allergy and asthma, her research is laying the groundwork for a variety of potential future therapies to prevent and cure allergies and asthma. Dr. Nadeau leads a team of specialists spanning allergy, asthma, and immunology across Stanford University. She has been a pioneer in the field of Translational Allergy and Immunology, both defining the mechanism of new therapies and then translating them clinically to make transformative changes in patients. She has led research in oncology, transplant and autoimmune trials and is a member of the National Steering Committee for the intramural clinical research programs at the NIH. She started 4 biotech companies in the Bay Area under Stanford patents and has worked in industry to shepherd two drugs through the FDA to approval.  Dr. Nadeau received her MD and PhD from Harvard Medical School through the NIH MSTP program scholarships. She completed a residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and a clinical fellowship in asthma and immunology at Stanford and at University of California, San Francisco.  Dr. Nadeau has served as a FDA consultant and a reviewer for NIH Study Sections. Also, she serves on the environmental health policy committee for the American Thoracic Society, the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and is a fellow in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), Association of American Physicians (AAP), the medical board of the American Lung Association in California, the Scientific Advisory Board of the EPA, and is currently working with the US Congress and CA Governor’s office on Global Climate Change emergency preparedness plans. In addition to her above involvements, Dr. Nadeau advises other departments and centers on translational allergy and immunology studies, including serving on the National Scientific Committee for the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). Dr. Nadeau contributes on multiple editorial boards for high impact journals and to date published over 200 peer-reviewed publications, and is a reviewer for NIH study sections and for many high impact journals in basic science and clinical medicine. She is also passionate about breaking down health barriers and creating meaningful change for children and adults in underserved areas and has developed outreach and educational programs with partners in East Palo Alto, Inner City Chicago, Harlem, and San Francisco. Her work has been recognized with numerous grants and awards. Through FARE, CoFAR, WHO, the United Nations and other partnerships, she collaborates with colleagues from institutions around the globe.

with Professor Kari Nadeau

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