The Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR), hosted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Centre, has received $2.5 million in the latest grant round from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) announced by Federal Assistant Health Minister Ged Kearney on 1 September.

Associate Professor Kirsten Perrett said the CFAR Centre of Research Excellence aimed to reduce the number of children developing allergies, how best to treat and manage allergies and rapidly transfer research findings into public health policy and clinical practice changes.

Associate Professor Perrett said the latest round of centre funding would continue to keep Australia as a global leader in food allergy research. 

Australia has the world’s highest rate of food allergy, affecting one in 10 infants and at least one child in every primary and high school classroom.

“Our team has made significant progress understanding strategies to prevent food allergy and are testing these in large clinical trials, which has left us ideally placed to complete our vision to turn back the tide of food allergy through evidence-based prevention and treatment. We now aim to understand who will benefit from these strategies,” Associate Professor Perrett said. 

“This project will bring together fresh expertise and perspective, embrace interdisciplinary approaches and new methodologies to harness the power of our internationally unique collection of cohort and clinical trial data to answer key questions that single studies cannot address alone. We will also continue our successful approach at supporting and training the next generation of allergy researchers.”

Associate Professor Perrett said there was a strong sense that prevention and treatment strategies for food allergy would be dramatically improved by building on their internationally recognised collaborative model.

“We will focus on assessing and implementing cost-effective, evidence-based population-level prevention strategies, and identifying for whom, what, when and how to intervene with individual level precision early intervention strategies, treatments and targeted management approaches,” she said.

CFAR will work alongside the new National Allergy Centre of Excellence Food Allergy Stream.