APFED Announces Recipient for 2024 HOPE APFED/AAAAI Grant Award

February 27, 2024

Funded study seeks to improve outcomes in children with allergic diseases by using the Esophageal String Test to screen for eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)

ATLANTA, GA —The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) announced that the 2024 HOPE APFED/AAAAI Grant Award has been awarded to Maureen Bauer, MD, FAAAAI, Associate Professor of Pediatrics Section of Pediatric Allergy & Immunology, Children’s Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado School of Medicine. The award was presented during the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) held in Washington, D.C., February 23-26, 2024.

Dr. Bauer is the recipient of a $140,000 grant over a two-year term for her promising research study titled “Improving Outcomes and Equity through Targeted Screening for Eosinophilic Esophagitis­­­­.” The Hope APFED/AAAAI Grant Award will be funded equally between APFED and the AAAAI. The award is the result of a collaborative effort between APFED and AAAAI and was established in 2013 to enable investigators who are AAAAI members to initiate projects relevant to eosinophil-associated diseases.

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus characterized by an abnormal accumulation of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, in the esophageal tissue. The esophageal string test is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure in which a small, easy-to-swallow capsule containing a string is used to measure inflammation in the esophagus. This helps doctors understand the extent of inflammation in patients and monitor the effectiveness of treatments.

With this research grant, Dr. Bauer will use the esophageal string test to see how well it can detect EoE in children who have other allergic conditions. Her study will also help determine patient and provider acceptability of using the esophageal string test to screen for EoE.

Dr. Bauer’s project is a collaboration between the allergy and gastroenterology communities and exemplifies how collaborative science leads to innovation and can improve patient outcomes. This research aims to provide important preliminary data necessary to assess the impact of screening for EoE using the esophageal string test on healthcare cost, esophageal fibrostenosis, and health disparities.

“Supporting new research is a key part of APFED’s mission, and we are thrilled to offer this award once again in partnership with AAAAI,” said APFED Executive Director Mary Jo Strobel. “The HOPE APFED/AAAAI Grant Award recipients have represented a broad range of perspectives in the study of eosinophil-associated disorders, and Dr. Bauer’s project shows great promise with a goal of improving patient outcomes and equity through more targeted screening. We are grateful to the APFED donors who made this award possible.”

“At present, the diagnosis of EoE is often delayed, particularly to those from disadvantaged backgrounds, so it is my hope that this grant will allow for a more cost effective and readily available screen for EoE to alleviate health disparities within pediatric EoE,” said Dr. Bauer.

APFED’s competitive research grant program, HOPE on the Horizon, is supported entirely by donations to APFED. For more information, please visit apfed.org.

About the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED)

The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to passionately embrace, support, and improve the lives of patients and families affected by eosinophil-associated diseases through education and awareness, research, support, and advocacy. www.apfed.org.

About the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) is the leading membership organization of more than 7,100 allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and other professionals with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 7,100 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries and is the go-to resource for patients living with allergies, asthma and immune deficiency disorders. www.aaaai.org/