Dr. Kim is a pediatric allergist and immunologist whose research focuses on food allergy, immunotherapy and chronic idiopathic urticaria. He is currently the director of the UNC Food Allergy Initiative (UNC FAI), which investigates the biological basis of food allergy as well as new forms of immunotherapy as treatment for food allergy.
As part of the UNC FAI, Dr. Kim’s research group is focused on multiple aspects of food immunotherapy including the safety and tolerability of immunotherapy, varying levels of clinical desensitization, lasting benefits of treatment, and the underlying mechanisms involved in successful treatment. Currently, the standard of care for food allergies remains strict avoidance of the food allergen, but multiple studies have demonstrated successful desensitization using oral immunotherapy (OIT). In addition to OIT, Dr. Kim’s research team at UNC FAI is also exploring other routes for immunotherapy delivery such as under the tongue or through the skin. The FAI also collaborates extensively with the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) and the the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN).
Dr. Kim is also interested in chronic idiopathic urticaria (hives persisting for more than 6 weeks with no identifiable cause). It is thought that immune dysregulation and autoimmunity may be the cause of this condition. Although treatment with antihistamines are the mainstay for people with chronic idiopathic urticaria, many patients don’t respond to this therapy. Dr. Kim is particularly interested in evaluating the use of different immune modulatory drugs for the treatment of refractory chronic idiopathic urticaria.
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