Featured Physician: Scott P. Commins, MD, PhD

Scott Commins is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology.

Featured Physician: Scott P. Commins, MD, PhD click to enlarge Scott Commins, MD, PhD

What is your clinical expertise?

I am an allergist and typically see adults and children with food allergy. In particular, I see patients who have developed an allergy to the sugar “alpha-gal,” which is found in mammalian animals such as cows and pigs. This recently discovered food allergy appears to arise after being bitten by ticks or chiggers and causes symptoms 3-6 hours after eating red meat. Beyond food allergies, I see patients with seasonal allergies, reactions to insect stings, asthma, eczema and anaphylaxis.

Tell us about your current role in the Department of Medicine.

I am new to the Department of Medicine, having arrived in the early fall of 2015. My primary appointment is within the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology. I see patients, do research and look forward to educating fellows, residents and graduate students.   

What current project or initiative at UNC are you involved in that you are excited about? 

One of the reasons that I came to UNC was the emphasis and expertise assembled here related to food allergy. Food allergies among kids have been on the rise, and as this population begins to reach late-teen years, we will need to provide care for them as adults. So, we are working across departments to be able to provide care for patients with food allergy throughout the age spectrum. As mentioned, I have a particular interest in the fact that at UNC we are developing studies related to the meat allergy called alpha-gal, and we are positioned to be the leader in research and clinical care related to this unique allergy. I’m also proud of UNC’s “Food for All” theme, which involves a program designed to generate discussion on wide-ranging topics such as food cultures, nutrition, sustainable development, and world hunger.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Fly fishing and mountain biking

View Dr. Commins' profile.