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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research

Project Directory

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Food Allergy
Building Informatics Tools for the Identification of Food Allergy Related Morbidity and Health Care Use using Electronic Health Records

The goal of this study is to answer the following question: Can informatics tools such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) be used to identify patients with food allergy with adequate sensitivity and specificity? We will answer this question by accomplishing the following three aims:

  • Build a database of electronically extracted EHR data (including narrative notes) from a cohort of patients seen at general pediatric and allergy clinics.
  • Develop a NLP system to identify patients with food allergy, accidental exposures and consequences (including ED visits and hospitalization), and quality of life impact.
  • Assess the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the NLP system by comparing performance with the results from the gold standard database.
School & Community
Community Research and Medicine Program (CRM)

Based on the SMHRT curriculum, this program was started in 2017 to enrich local high school students’ understanding of public health.

Food Allergy
Food Allergy Education Video for College Orientation

The goal of this study is to develop a food allergy educational video for college students that can be utilized during orientation for college freshman. The hope is to have a short, informative, and relatable video that is easy to incorporate in colleges nationwide to spread awareness and help prompt the conversation among students to support their peers with food allergy.

Food Allergy
Food Allergy Outcomes Related to White and African American Racial Differences (FORWARD)

This goal of this NIH-funded R01 study is to develop a prospective longitudinal cohort to systematically investigate disparities between African American and Caucasian children in food allergy clinical and psycho-social outcomes, food allergy phenotypes and endotypes, and food allergy management practices.

Food Allergy
Food Allergy Peer-to-Peer Educational Videos

The goal of this study is to develop and evaluate three early childhood food allergy educational videos to educate young children, parents/caregivers, and EC educators/professionals on food allergy. All videos are available on our “resources page” and you can read the manuscript about our findings on the “publications page!”

Geographic Variability in Childhood Asthma Prevalence in Chicago

This highly-cited 2008 paper was the first to empirically demonstrate the tremendous geographic variability of childhood asthma prevalence in Chicago–which ranged from 0 to 44% by neighborhood.

Improving Community Asthma through a Student Media-Based Research Intervention (SMART Program)

SOAAR was funded by the American Lung Association to refine START by using mobile technology. The resulting intervention was called, “Student Media-based Asthma Research Team” (SMART) and was implemented at James Hedges Elementary in Back of the Yards and Beasley Elementary in Washington Park.

Food Allergy
Improving Food Allergy Preparedness on College Campuses

The goal of this study was to explore the systems, structures, and policies that currently support students with food allergies at college, assess unmet needs, and develop pilot interventions through the use of patient-centered design processes. To learn more, you can find the published manuscript about our findings on the publications page.

Improving Technology Assisted Recording of Asthma Control in Children (ITRACC)

The goal of this randomized clinical control trial is to determine whether a sensor enabled, clinically integrated, mobile health asthma program can improve overall asthma control and management among children with moderate-to-severe asthma.


To learn more about this clinical trial and patients' experience with the technology, click here! 

Food Allergy
Intervention to Reduce Early Peanut Allergy in Children (IREACH)

The goal of this NIH-funded U01 study is to implement and evaluate a novel Intervention to Reduce Early (Peanut) Allergy in Children (iREACH) electronic health record (EHR) - enabled CDS tool within a diverse network of community-based pediatric practices. iREACH includes the following components: a PPA Guidelines education module; an EHR-integrated CDS tool deployed during 4- and 6-month infant well-child visits; and follow-up EHR prompts at 9- and 18-month well-child visits assessing parental peanut introduction practices.

Food Allergy
Meeting the Psychosocial Needs of Children and Families with Life-Threatening Food Allergies

The goal of this study is to interview pediatric allergists and parents of food-allergic children from the Chicago area to assess mental health needs of and appropriate interventions for children and families affected by food allergies.

Food Allergy
Prevalence, Severity and Distribution of Food Allergy in the United States

The goal of this NIH-funded R21 was to determine the prevalence, severity, and distribution of childhood and adult food allergy in the United States. After the landmark 2011 study that assessed prevalence in the pediatric population and showed that 8% of children (1 in 13) have a food allergy with 40% experiencing a severe reaction, SOAAR re-surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 40,000 households to examine the prevalence of FA in both childhood and adult populations.

School & Community
School Food Allergy Policy Study

The goal of this study was to understand the current food allergy policies in place in schools and assess the barriers to their implementation.

Student Media-Based Health Research Team (SMHRT)

SMHRT is a comprehensive curriculum that can be shared with educators, public health practitioners, and community members to be utilized in schools to help empower students to research and understand the health conditions that affect their communities.

Food Allergy
The Development and Evaluation of Educational Food Allergy Videos in Early Childhood

The goal of this study is to develop and evaluate three early childhood food allergy educational videos to educate young children, parents/caregivers, and EC educators/professionals on food allergy. You’ll find the final videos on the “resources” page soon!

Food Allergy
The Food Allergy Management in Low Income Youth Study (The FAMILY Study)

The goal of this study is to better understand the barriers to food allergy management among low-income families living with food allergies. After interviewing a number of families living with FA about their experiences, we created a clear and helpful “Food Allergy Passport” to aid in the management of food allergy based on their noted barriers, (ex. keeping track of medications, preparing for the doctor, how to read labels, coping strategies, travel tips, etc.)

The Impact of Student-Directed Videos on Community Asthma Knowledge (START Program)

The START (Student Asthma Research Team) intervention was an after-school program where students were educated about asthma, participatory research methods, and media production to:

  1. Identify neighborhood factors affecting their own asthma through photography and writing and
  2. Address these factors by producing public service announcements to raise public awareness.
School & Community
Training the Next Generation through SOAAR’s Summer Internship Program

If you are interested in interning with SOAAR, email for more details!

Food Allergy
Understanding Diagnosis and Management of Childhood Food Allergy Among Medicaid Enrolled Children

The goal of this study is to analyze the patterns of diagnosis and treatment among children with food allergy insured through the Medicaid program. With this data we will be able to analyze one year of Medicaid claims to describe the prevalence of food allergy and indicators of quality care adherent to clinical guidelines. We also will analyze the county-level hot spot maps to advance our understanding of the geographic disparities in care.

Food Allergy
Understanding Precautionary Allergen Labeling Preferences among Food Allergy Stakeholders

The goal of this study is to better understand how to communicate the risk of potential presence of allergens in products that could have cross-contact from shared manufacturing equipment. By surveying consumers affected by food allergy, we hope to gain information that will help to inform future FDA labeling policies.

Food Allergy
Understanding the Natural History of Food Allergy

The goal of this study is to understand the natural progression of food allergy by launching a prospective, longitudinal cohort study of over 1,000 food allergic children.

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