Dr. Virkud is a pediatric allergist/immunologist and assistant professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is also adjunct faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA and an associate epidemiologist at the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham & Women’s Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree at Harvard University in Biochemical Sciences, completed her medical training at Washington University in St. Louis, and concurrently obtained a Masters in Biology and Biomedical Sciences under the mentorship of Dr. John Constantino at Washington University. She completed her residency in pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She trained at Duke University for her fellowship in Allergy and Immunology, where she researched under the mentorship of Dr. Wesley Burks, exploring the safety of peanut oral immunotherapy for food allergy. During this time, she also completed a clinical research fellowship at Duke Clinical Research Institute and a Masters of Public Health in Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. From 2014-2021, she was a faculty member at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School, and became the Director of Biostatistics and Data Management core of the MGH Food Allergy Center. There she conducted research on the omics of food allergic responses to oral immunotherapy, under the mentorship of Dr. Wayne Shreffler at MGH and Dr. Jessica Lasky-Su at the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham & Women’s Hospital. In 2021, she joined the UNC Food Allergy Initiative. She is also an investigator in the Consortium for Food Allergy Research (COFAR) and the Food Allergy Science Initiative (FASI) at the Broad Institute.
The Virkud Lab focuses on the phenotyping different patients with food allergy and understanding the mechanisms of investigational therapies for food allergy. Areas of active investigation include (1) safety of investigational therapies such as oral immunotherapy and predicting which patients are most likely to benefit, (2) studying metabolite and RNA profiles of patients with food allergy, (3) investigating the early onset of IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated disease, like cow’s milk protein intolerance, in collaboration with the Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Allergic Proctocolitis (GMAP) Study at MGH, (4) developing improved transitional programs to prepare adolescents to navigate adulthood with food allergies.
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