4 Sep 2015

Professor Robyn O'Hehir: InSPIREd Therapy for Allergies (Synthetic Peptide Immuno-Regulator Epitopes). Find out more on 30 Sep 2015

A key scientist in international allergy research for over 25 years, Professor Robyn O’Hehir is an academic clinician-scientist who successfully combines a strong basic research record with a continuing commitment to clinical medicine at a senior level. She is Professor and Director of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine at the Central Clinical School, Monash University, and The Alfred hospital. Professor O'Hehir will be speaking at the forthcoming 30 Sept Translational Research symposium hosted by Central Clinical School. See detail below.

She graduated BSc and then MBBS (Hons) from Monash University and completed her clinical postgraduate training at Royal Brompton Hospital, University of London, specialising in both Clinical Immunology/Allergy and Respiratory Medicine. 

Professor O’Hehir has a sustained record of success in competitive grant funding, including Wellcome Trust and NHMRC, and was Monash Director of the Co-operative Research Centre for Asthma and Airways for 12 years. She has more than 235 publications, including three books and 16 patents. 

Professor O’Hehir’s research culminated in demonstration of CD4+ T cell anergy induction by high dose CD4+ T-cell epitope peptides, focusing initially on house dust mite allergens. Her approach of using dominant T cell epitope peptides for hypoallergenic allergen-specific immunotherapy was developed by Imperial College London spinout company Circassia® with successful phase 3 trials for cat allergy. Recently house dust mite data generated by Professor O’Hehir during her Wellcome Trust postdoctoral research, and grass pollen IP generated by her Monash Allergy Team (O’Hehir and Rolland) and assigned to Circassia®, successfully completed phase 2 clinical trials for house dust mite and grass pollen allergy. 

Professor O’Hehir’s Team has now identified the critical sequences of peptides of the two major peanut proteins that interact with T cells and build immunological tolerance, but do not bind allergy antibody (IgE) and cause anaphylaxis. These “dominant fragments or peptides” are the best candidates for a safe peanut allergy vaccine. This research, supported by Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation, NHMRC and Alfred Trusts, has recently been granted A$2 million from the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, Australia, for phase 1-2 trial in persons affected by peanut allergy.

Prof O'Hehir will be speaking at the Central Clinical School's Translational Research Symposium Wednesday, 30 September 2015, on the topic of " InSPIREd Therapy for Allergies (Synthetic Peptide Immuno-Regulator Epitopes)"

All welcome, see details:

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