The Food Allergy Science Initiative (FASI) announced the beginning of a new era as a separate, independent organization dedicated to discovering the root causes of food allergies through rigorous scientific research and deploying new therapies to treat and, ultimately, cure them.
FASI launched in 2016 at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in partnership with a group of Boston-area parents whose families have been affected by food allergies. Together, they sought to advance knowledge of the biological basis of food allergy, which affects more than 30 million Americans. Despite the prevalence of food allergy, very limited progress in treatment has been made over the past 40 years.
Since its founding, FASI has made tremendous progress pioneering new research directions in food allergy, attracting talented young researchers, facilitating scientific and public outreach about allergy, and nurturing the food allergy community. The collaborative, multifaceted initiative now spans world class labs across the US.
As an independent nonprofit, FASI will build upon the research progress made at the Broad and partner institutions under the leadership of Ruslan Medzhitov, FASI’s chief scientific officer. Major discoveries include the interaction of the immune and nervous systems in relation to the tolerance to an allergen.
The new entity will also build on significant financial support that FASI has garnered to date from philanthropists and foundations, including a recent grant from Food Allergy Research and Education. Additional support will be directed to further foundational science that is shared openly with researchers around the globe, rather than developing one particular therapy or treatment to address one type of allergy.
In order to continue funding transformative food allergy research, FASI has set a goal of raising an additional $50M over the next five years.