• CUH and UCC Paediatric Allergy Research group accredited as Center of Excellence by World Allergy Organisation, the first of its kind in Ireland.
  • Recognition is a testament to the excellence in clinical care, education and research in Allergy and Immunology at our institutions.
  • Allergies can affect all aspects of a child’s daily life, including their health and wellbeing.

Cork University Hospital-University College Cork (CUH-UCC) Paediatric Allergy Research Group at the Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health (INFANT) has been recognised as a World Allergy Organisation (WAO) Center of Excellence, the first of its kind in Ireland.

The prestigious accreditation recognises CUH-UCC’s position as a global leader in allergy and immunology research, education, and clinical care.

The WAO Centers of Excellence programme aims to intensify and accelerate multidisciplinary scientific and clinical innovation, education, and advocacy worldwide. CUH-UCC joins leading international centres which advance excellence in education, research, and training in allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology.

In Ireland, 10% of children and young adults have more than one allergic or atopic disorder such as food allergy, eczema, asthma and allergic rhinitis. Allergies in childhood can have a major impact on the overall quality of life of a child. In severe cases, children may experience anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction. Early identification and management of allergies are crucial in supporting the lifelong health and well-being of children.

Transforming the lives of patients and their families

Operating from Cork University Hospital and University College Cork, the CUH-UCC Paediatric Allergy Research Group aims to transform the lives of patients in Ireland and worldwide. The group’s main focus is on the translational paediatric allergy field, in particular food allergies, analysing how bacteria can affect allergies within the gut, skin and lungs, and quality of life. They are dedicated to discovering new therapies to diagnose food allergies and to prevent allergies from happening in the first place.

The co-directors of the Paediatric Allergy Research Group are Dr Juan Trujillo, Consultant Paediatric Allergist, and Program Director of the Postgraduate Program in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at UCC, and Dr Audrey Dunn-Galvin, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor Applied Psychology at UCC.

Advancing multidisciplinary research and innovation

Cork University Hospital CEO, David Donegan said: “This accreditation highlights our dedication to providing the highest level of care to paediatric allergy patients. It reinforces our commitment to patient education, advocacy, and innovative therapies.”

The majority of clinical research is undertaken is in CUH, while research spans across UCC including the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, School of Applied Psychology, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, and School of Nursing and Midwifery. Active partners and collaborators in the allergy field include the Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health (INFANT centre), HRB Clinical Research Facility (CRF-UCC), and APC Microbiome Ireland.

The CUH-UCC Paediatric Allergy Research Group  also delivers education programmes which attract students from across the globe and pivotal to the WAO accreditation is the success of the online postgraduate programme in Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Professor Helen Whelton, Head of College of Medicine and Health UCC, said: “This prestigious international recognition underscores UCC’s commitment to excellence in multidisciplinary allergy research and education. It is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team and their ongoing translation of new knowledge to clinical care”.

Professor Geraldine Boylan, Director of the INFANT Research Centre, said: “Being recognised by the WAO signifies the high standard of research being conducted by the Paediatric Allergy Research Group at INFANT, UCC and it opens up doors for strengthening global collaborations and connections.”