Contact: 1-888-573-1833 or

The Startling Increase…

Thirty years ago, food allergy was extremely rare. Today, 4.3 million U.S. children suffer from this potentially life-threatening condition. The number of children suffering with peanut allergy alone has doubled in five years – and the numbers continue to grow. It is this increase that prompted the development of the Children’s Memorial Food Allergy Study.


Project Goals

The study is designed to find answers to some fundamental questions regarding food allergy, such as

  • What are the causes of food allergy?
  • How can food allergy be predicted and prevented?
  • Are there alternative or better treatments for food allergy?

Is my family eligible for this study?

    Family-based design – Eligible families have at least one food allergy affected child (ages 0 to 21 years) and both biological parents willing to participate in the study.    

    Case-control design – If both biological parents are unavailable to participate in the study, individual children (ages 0 to 21 years) that meet our case or control criteria are also eligible.

What would our participation involve?

Participation in this study is completely voluntary. If you choose not to participate, each participant’s medical care will not be affected in any way. If you do choose to participate, you would be asked to complete a questionnaire about your child’s environmental exposures, diet, lifestyle, and specific allergies. A clinical evaluation would be conducted to measure your child’s height, weight, blood pressure, and lung function. A small blood sample (2 tsps) will be taken and allergy skin tests administered.

All evaluations will be done by a qualified research nurse or research associate.

Each participant will receive a $25 gift card to Target, free parking, and additional gift card(s) to cover travel expenses.

Study Locations:

Study visits are conducted in Chicago and suburban locations. The study team will make every effort to accommodate the study family's schedule and preferred location.

Who is conducting this study?

The study team consists of physicians and researchers at Children’s Memorial Research Center and Children’s Memorial Hospital in collaboration with the Clinical Research Unit.

Xiaobin Wang, MD, MPH, ScD - Principal Investigator

Jacqueline Pongracic, MD - Division Head, Allergy & Immunology

Rajesh Kumar, MD - Attending physician, Allergy & Immunology

Ramsay Fuleihan, MD - Attending physician, Allergy & Immunology

Ann Marie Singh, MD - Attending physician, Allergy & Immunology

Rachel Story, MD - Attending physician, Allergy & Immunology

Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH - Attending physician, Pediatrics

Deanna Caruso, MS - Project Coordinator

Why this study is special

The Children’s Memorial Food Allergy Study is a large, family-based food allergy study and holds great potential for scientific discovery and clinical translation.  It is gaining momentum with the support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Chicago Community Trust, Food Allergy Initiative, and generous donors.

How can I become a part of this study?

For more information, please call the Children's Memorial Food Allergy Study team toll-free at 1-888-573-1833 or email us at

Children’s Memorial Hospital is dedicated to providing excellent medical care as well as conducting research that will benefit the lives of children.



The study is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Chicago Community Trust, Food Allergy Initiative and generous donors.