Research

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The Henry Ford Center for Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Research (CAAIR) provides allergy fellows with integrated support from researchers active in NIH-funded allergy and Immunology research, including members the Henry Ford Department of Biostatistics and Research Epidemiology.

The recent focus of the Center's research has been the continuing investigation of two large birth cohort populations uncovering risk factors, Immunologic responses to allergic and environmental exposures and the natural history of asthma and allergic disease.

State-of- the-art laboratory equipment, accessible corporate databases and support from the Henry Ford Molecular Epidemiology Research Laboratory provides a wide array of research opportunities for trainees.

Recent peer-review allergy and immunology research publications

Morman S, Zoratti EM. Environmental Control of Respiratory Irritants and Allergens. Chapter in Allergic Diseases 3rd Edition, Springer Publishing. Editors Lieberman P, Anderson JA., 2007

Williams LK, Joseph CL, Peterson EL, Moon C, Krajenta R, Johnson R, Wells K, Booza JC, Tunceli K, Lafata JE, Johnson CC, Ownby DR, Enberg R, Pladevall M Race-ethnicity, crime, and other factors associated with adherence to inhaled corticosteroids. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007;119:168-75

Wegienka G, Havstad S, Shue L, Zoratti E, Ownby DR, Johnson CC. Birth Order and Cord Immunoglobulin E: Results Using a High-Sensitivity Immunoglobulin E Protocol. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2008;145:305-312.

Paris J, Peterson EL, Wells K, Pladevall M, Burchard EG, Choudhry S, Lanfear DE, Williams LK Relationship between recent short-acting beta-agonist use and subsequent asthma exacerbations. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008;101:482-7.PMID: 19055201

Aichbhaumik N, Zoratti EM, Strickler R, Wegienka G, Ownby DR, Havstad S, Johnson CC. Prenatal exposure to household pets influences fetal immunoglobulin E production. Clin Exp Allergy. 2008:38:1787-94

Misiak R, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Ownby DR, Johnson CC, Zoratti EM Specific Allergic Sensitization in Parents and Their 18 year-old Offspring in the Suburban Detroit Childhood Allergy Study J Allergy Clin Immunol 2009; 123:1401-6.

Sikka N, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Genaw, J, Zoratti E. Respiratory Medication Use before and after Bariatric Surgery . Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2010;104:326-30.

Gould W, Peterson EL, Karungi G, Zoratti A, Gaggin J, Toma G, Yan S, Levin AM, Yang JJ, Wells K, Wang M, Burke RR, Beckman K, Popadic D, Land SJ, Kumar R, Seibold MA, Lanfear DE, Burchard EG, Williams LK. Factors predicting inhaled corticosteroid responsiveness in African American patients with asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Dec;126(6):1131-8. PMID: 20864153

Shah PS, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Johnson CC, Ownby DR, Zoratti EM. The relationship between cord blood immunoglobulin E levels and allergy-related outcomes in young adults. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Mar;106(3):245-51 PMID: 21354027

Linden CC, Misiak RT, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Ownby DR, Johnson CC, Zoratti EM Analysis of allergen specific IgE cut points to cat and dog in the Childhood Allergy Study. . Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Feb;106(2):153-158. PMID: 21277517

Hicks WB, Nageotte CG, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Johnson CC, Ownby DR, Zoratti EM The association of maternal prenatal IgE and eczema in offspring is restricted to non-atopic mothers.. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2011 Nov;22(7):684-7. PMID: 21950679

Porter M, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Nageotte C, Johnson CC, Ownby DR, Zoratti EM. Relationship between body mass index in childhood and asthma as a young adult. J Peds – (under review March 2012).

Fellow abstracts and presentations at international scientific meetings

In addition, fellows also present their research locally (at Henry Ford Residency Research Forum) and/or regionally (at Michigan Allergy and Asthma Society and Michigan State Medical Society meetings.)

Misiak RT, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Ownby DR, Johnson CC, Zoratti EM Association of Parental Gender and Allergic Sensitization with the Patterns of Sensitization in 18 year-old Offspring in the Detroit Area Childhood Allergy Study Presented at International Conference of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, San Diego , February 2007.

Sikka N, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Genaw J, Zoratti E. Respiratory Medication Use before and after Bariatric Surgery Presented at International Conference of the American Thoracic Society, San Francisco, CA. May 2007

Johnson R, Havstad S, Wegienka G, Johnson CC, PhD, Ownby DR, Zoratti EM.. Association of methacholine challenge at age 6 and lung function at age 18. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Seattle WA November 2008

Shah PS, Wegienka G, Havstad SL , Johnson CC, Ownby DR, Zoratti EM. The Relationship between Cord Blood IgE Levels and Atopic Outcomes at Age 18. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology San Antonio Tx. February 2008

Linden CC, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Ownby DR, Johnson CC, Misiak RT, Zoratti EM. The effects of early–life environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure on pet allergy at age 18 in the Childhood Allergy Study. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Washington DC, March 2009.

Linden CC, Misiak RT, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Ownby DR,Johnson CC, Zoratti EM. Analysis of allergen specific IgE cutpoints to cat and dog in the suburban Detroit Childhood Allergy Study. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Miami FL, November 2009.

Hicks W, Nageotte C, Wegienka , Havstad S, Johnson CC, Ownby DR, Zoratti EM. Maternal Prenatal IgE is Associated with Atopic Dermatitis in Offspring. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Miami FL, November 2009.

Ahmed S, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Ownby D, Johnson C, Nageotte C, Zoratti E. Asthma incidence after age 6 years by gender and atopic status in the Childhood Allergy Study. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, New Orleans, February 2010.

Gould W, Peterson EL, Karungi G, Gaggin J, Campbell J, Zoratti A, Yang M, Williams LK. Environmental tobacco smoke exposure and its effect on inhaled corticosteroid responsiveness among African American patients with asthma. American Thoracic Society New Orleans, LA. May 2010.

Porter M, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Nageotte C, Johnson CC, Ownby DR, Zoratti EM. Relationship Between Childhood Body Mass Index and Asthma in Young Adults. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology San Francisco, CA. March 2011

Burnett M, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Ownby, DR Johnson CC, Zoratti EM. The Relationship of Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide Levels to Allergy and Asthma Biomarkers in Young Adults. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology San Francisco, CA. March 2011 (Began project as 3rd year IM resident)

Vasu N, Wegienka G, Havstad, Johnson CC, Zoratti EM. The Risk of Atopic Dermatitis in Children Exposed to Pets During Pregnancy. World Allergy Organization, Cancun Mexico, December 2011.

Burnett M, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Ownby, DR Johnson CC, Zoratti EM. The Relationship Of Dog And Cat Specific IgE And IgG4 Levels To Allergic Symptoms Upon Pet Exposure. Accepted for presentation at American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Francisco, CA, May 2012.

A&I resident research projects

Fellows starting in 2006

Rana Misiak
An analysis of the concordance of specific allergen sensitization between parents and their young adult offspring in the Detroit Childhood Allergy Study birth cohort.
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, E Zoratti.

Naveen Sikka
The change in the usage rate of respiratory medication after bariatric surgery.
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, E Zoratti, J Genaw

Fellows starting in 2007

Purvee Shah
Cord Blood IgE Levels as a predictor of atopy and allergic disorders in young adulthood.
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, E Zoratti.

Reba Johnson
Race-ethnicity, and associations with adherence to inhaled corticosteroids. (initiated as 3rd year IM resident when accepted into A&I program)
Support Team: K. Williams and the Study of Asthma Phenotypes and Pharmacogenomic Interactions by Race-Ethnicity (SAPPHIRE) team.

Reba Johnson
The association of methacholine reactivity at age 6 and lung function at age 18.
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, E Zoratti

Fellows starting in 2008

Carey Linden
Analysis pet-induced allergy symptoms and the cutpoint of allergen specific IgE to cat and dog in the suburban Detroit Childhood Allergy Study.
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, R Misiak, E Zoratti

Carey Linden
The effects of early–life environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure on pet allergy at age 18 in the Childhood Allergy Study
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, R Misiak, E Zoratti

William Hicks
Maternal IgE during pregnancy and the risk of atopic dermatitis in childhood.
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, C Nageotte, E Zoratti

Fellows starting in 2009

Wendy Gould
Environmental tobacco smoke exposure and its effect on inhaled corticosteroid responsiveness among African American patients with asthma
Support Team: K. Williams and SAPPHIRE members

Wendy Gould
The effects of genetic ancestry and other factors predicting inhaled corticosteroid responsiveness in African American patients with asthma
Support Team: K. Williams and SAPPHIRE team.

Sartaj Ahmed
The associations of gender and atopic status to asthma incidence between age 6 and 18 in a general-risk birth cohort.
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, E Zoratti.

Fellows starting in 2010

Minto Porter
The effect of childhood Body Mass Index and asthma risk in young adult participants in a birth cohort study.
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, C Nageotte, E Zoratti.

Neetu Vasu
Atopic Dermatitis incidence in children and the effect of early life pet exposure.
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, E Zoratti.

Fellows starting in 2011

Mary Burnett
Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide Levels and their association with non-asthma allergic disorders, atopy and allergic biomarkers in Young Adults.(initiated as 3rd year IM resident when accepted into A&I program)
Support Team: S Havstad, G Wegienka, E Zoratti.

Mary Burnett
Relationship of dog and cat specific IgE and IgG4 Levels to self-reported allergic symptoms with pet exposure.
Support Team: S. Havstad, G Wegienka, E Zoratti.

Jennifer Rumpel
The association between African ancestry/admixture to the risk of asthma exacerbations. (pending confirmation of project feasibility)
Support Team: K. Williams and SAPPHIRE team.

Division of Allergy and Immunology faculty– ongoing research projects

Ami Degala MD
Inner City Asthma Consortium (AI200804 PI – Busse WW)
Role: Site Coinvestigator

Haejin Kim MD
Inner City Asthma Consortium (AI200804 PI – Busse WW)
Role: Site Coinvestigator

  • House dust bioactivities and skin prick test reactivity in children at high risk of allergy in the CCAAPS birth cohort. (Manuscript prepared as faculty at Henry Ford – project initiated in fellowship at U Cincinnati).
  • The relationship of Ancestry Informative Markers to atopic outcomes in the WHEALS birth cohort (grant preparation in progress for internal submission for funding May 2012)

Rana Misiak MD
Inner City Asthma Consortium (AI200804 PI – Busse WW) - Site Coinvestigator
Racial Variation in Food Allergy: Mechanisms and Risk (R21AI080066, PI Joseph CLMJ)
Role: Physician Panel Member

  • Confirmation of food allergy diagnosis in a large, ethnically-diverse birth cohort.

Christian Nageotte MD

  • Sponsored Clinical Trial - The Epidemiologic Study of Xolair (omalizumab): Evaluating Clinical Effectiveness and Long-term Safety in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Asthma (EXCELS)
    Role: Site Investigator
  • Racial Variation in Food Allergy: Mechanisms and Risk (R21AI080066, PI Joseph CLMJ)
    Role: Physician Panel Member (confirmation of food allergy diagnosis in a large, ethnically-diverse birth cohort.)

Edward Zoratti MD

  • Inner City Asthma Consortium (AI200804 PI – Busse WW)
    Role : Detroit Site PI
  • Racial Variation in Food Allergy: Mechanisms and Risk (R21AI080066, PI Joseph CLMJ)
    Role: Coinvestigator
  • Early Life Vitamin D, Racial Disparities and Wheezing (R01HL113010, PI – Wegienka G)
    Role: Coinvestigator
  • Etiology of Pediatric Atopy (Childhood Allergy Study Birth Cohort 18 year followup (R01-AI051598, PI – Zoratti, E) (Extension expired in 2011, but analyses ongoing -current manuscript “Opposing polyclonal cytokine profiles among young adults with atopic and non-atopic asthma in a population-based cohort.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • Grant submitted - Pets & the Infant Microbiome: Effects on Immune Maturation & Atopic Asthma (PO1 AI089473-01Al, PI Johnson CC) “
    Role: Project Co-Leader

A&I resident research projects are typically coordinated through the Henry Ford Center for Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Research (CAAIR). The CAAIR’s members are experienced A&I investigators from both the Division of Allergy and Immunology and the Department of Public Health Sciences. In addition to the A&I faculty and residents have been provided with substantial resources for their research projects by working with CAAIR members who are essential members of the Division’s research team. Listed below are the principal investigators and overall goals of key grants where A&I faculty and/or residents have had substantial involvement over the past review cycle.

Other CAAIR faculty– ongoing allergy-related research projects

Christine Johnson, PhD (Epidemiology)
R01A150681-“Early Environmental Hygiene and Pediatric Atopy”(PI-Johnson C)
The purpose of this project to develop a multi-ethnic cohort of newborns to investigate early environmental hygiene and pediatric atopy.
Role: Johnson CC PI.

Ganesa Wegienka, PhD (Epidemiology)
R21AI069271 “Epidemiology of Regulatory T Cells in Pregnancy and Childhood Atopic Diseases”
The goal of the project is to study within-woman change in regulatory T cells from the prenatal to the postpartum period and see how they relate to subsequent allergic disease in their children.
Role Wegienka G – PI.

R01HL113010 “Early Life Vitamin D, Racial Disparities and Wheezing (PI – Wegienka G)
The goal of the project is to determine whether early life 25(OH)D levels can explain the higher rates of positive allergen skin prick tests, allergen sIgE, total IgE, atopic dermatitis and wheeze among African American children compared to White children.
Role Wegienka G PI.

Keoki Williams, MD, MPH
R01AI079139 Pharmacogenetics of inhaled corticosteroid responsiveness in patients with asthma. (PI - Williams LK)
This study seeks to quantify the response to ICS therapy in African American and white patients, as well as look for genetic markers that predict treatment response.

Christine Joseph, PhD (Epidemiology)
R21AI080066 “Racial Variation in Food Allergy: Mechanisms and Risk” (PI -Joseph, CLM)
The study’s objective in to investigate differences in the rate and potential mechanisms leading to relatively higher rates of food allergy among African Americans

Funded grants with A&I fellow or faculty involvement

NIAID UO1 AI2008044 “National Inner City Asthma Consortium” (PI – Busse WW)
A consortium of 9 clinical sites and 2 basic research site with a goal to design and conduct clinical studies with the objectives of improving asthma control and preventing the development of asthma in children residing in the inner cities of the United States using primarily immune system-targeting interventions and improving asthma phenotyping using validated biomarkers.
Role: Zoratti, EM Detroit Site PI. Johnson CC, Misiak R, Kim H, Degala A – Coinvestigators
Detroit Site Specific Direct Costs: $1,684,489
Funding Period : 10/01/09-09/30/14

NIAID R21AI080066 “Racial Variation in Food Allergy: Mechanisms and Risk” (PI -Joseph, CLM)
The study objective in to investigate differences in the rate and potential mechanisms leading to relatively higher rates of food allergy among African Americans
Role: Joseph, CLM, PI. Zoratti EM coinvestigator.
Direct Costs : $132,040
Funding Period: 03/15/10-02/28/12

NIAID R21AI069271 “Epidemiology of Regulatory T Cells in Pregnancy and Childhood Atopic Diseases” (PI – Wegienka G)
The goal of the project was to study within-woman change in regulatory T cells from the prenatal to the postpartum period and see how they relate to subsequent allergic disease in their children.
Role: Wegienka, G PI. Zoratti EM Coinvestigator.
Direct Costs: $272,625
Funding Period: 9/18/07-9/17/09

NHLBI R01HL113010 “Early Life Vitamin D, Racial Disparities and Wheezing (PI – Wegienka G)
The goal of the project is to determine whether early life 25(OH)D levels can explain the higher rates of positive allergen skin prick tests, allergen sIgE, total IgE, atopic dermatitis and wheeze among African American children compared to White children.
Role: Wegienka, G PI. Zoratti EM Coinvestigator.
Direct Costs: $1,222,672
Funding Period: 4/1/12-2/28/15

NIAID R01A150681 “Early Environmental Hygiene and Pediatric Atopy” (PI- Johnson CC) 07/01/02 – 04/30/07
The purpose of this project to develop a multi-ethnic cohort of newborns to investigate early environmental hygiene and pediatric atopy.
Role: Johnson CC PI. Zoratti E - Coinvestigator.
Direct Costs: $3,253,600 (original, bridge & supplement)
Funding Period 07/01/02-08/31/11 (original grant, bridging and supplement)

R01AI079139 Pharmacogenetics of inhaled corticosteroid responsiveness in patients with asthma. (PI - Williams LK)
This study seeks to quantify the response to ICS therapy in African American and white patients, as well as look for genetic markers that predict treatment response.
Role: Williams, LK PI
Direct Costs : $491,421
Funding Period: 3/1/09 – 2/28/14

NIAID R01AI051598 “Etiology of Pediatric Atopy” (PI – Zoratti, E)
The objective of this project is the study of the relationship of early-life cat and dog exposure to potential persistent effects on T-cell cytokine profiles, biologic markers of atopy, and clinical atopy among a well-characterized birth cohort, the Detroit area Childhood Allergy Study (CAS), as they reach 18 years of age.
Direct Costs: $ 2,438,492
Funding Period 06/01/04- 5/31/11 (original grant and extension)

Novartis/Genentech. “The Epidemiologic Study of Xolair (omalizumab): Evaluating Clinical Effectiveness and Long-term Safety in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Asthma (EXCELS).
Role: Nageotte, C. Clinical Investigator
Direct Costs: $ 91,800.00
Funding Period: October 21, 2004 thru October 25, 2011

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