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Top Takeaways from the Food Allergy Fund Summit

Our team had a chance to attend the Food Allergy Fund Summit in Washington, D.C., and it was one of the most inspiring events we've been to! We heard from advocates in the community, learned about cutting-edge research, and observed some of the leading innovators in the industry talk about their projects.


Summing Up the Experience

The different presentations, panels, and other talks were packed with great information and important messages. Rather than try to break down all of the content shared (which would not only result in too long of post, but also risk losing important details), we're going to recap some of the big ideas from the event and encourage anyone interested in learning more to check out FoodAllergyFund.org to learn more about the speakers and teams represented.


Industry Innovators

The event was filled with great panel discussions. One that particularly caught our eye was the entrepreneurial panel. It was very inspiring to see the way other new organizations are creatively tackling the different issues the food allergy community faces. We saw everything from preventative measures, to promising treatment options, to more convenient auto-injector designs!


The panel included representatives from the following companies: Bryn Pharma, Intrommune Therapeutics, Vedanta Biosciences, and Before Brands.

From left to right, Allison Aubrey (panel moderator, NPR); Dr. Wendy Swanson (Before Brands); Michelle Lobel (Bryn Pharma); Michael Nelson (Intrommune Therapeutics); and Bernant Olle (Vedanta Biosciences)

Medical Advances

Another topic that was exciting to learn about was the different advances in the medical community's understanding of what might cause food allergies, potential treatments, and other related research.


Speakers included Linda Herbert, Ph.D., Dr. Scott Boyd, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Wayne Shreffler, Dr. Xiu-Min Li, Dr. Rima Rachid, Dr. Gary Wu, M.D., and Dr. Hemant Sharma, M.D. (in order of presentation). To view the Summit's agenda and learn more about the specific topics discussed, visit their agenda page here.


Ongoing Advocacy & Support

We also got to hear from a number of individuals that are at the forefront of food allergy advocacy, including two U.S. congressmen and other representatives from the community.

Topics included recent legal wins related to food allergies, and ongoing goals, like making epinephrine auto-injectors readily available on flights. We also heard an inspiring message about how food allergies are NOT a person's defining trait.


Speakers and panelists included Senator Richard Blumenthal, Representative Ro Khanna, Erin Malawer, Lianne Mandelbaum, Mary Vargas, and JJ Vulopas (in order of appearance).

Background on the Food Allergy Fund

This was our first time attending the Food Allergy Fund, and we were overwhelmed to see all of the great work that people in the community are engaging in on so many different fronts. We think it's important to share the Fund's mission:


"The Food Allergy Fund is dedicated to funding food allergy research focused on the underlying causes of food allergies and improved treatments for people with food allergies. The Food Allergy Fund enlists celebrity ambassadors, industry partners, and individuals to raise public awareness and to support scientific research." --taken directly from FoodAllergyFund.org


It would be impossible to summarize our experience without giving credit to, and thanking, the Fund's leadership team for creating such a great event--especially Ilana D. Golant, the Food Allergy Fund's Founder and CEO that reached out and invited us to attend.


We strongly encourage anyone who's reading this post to learn more about what the Food Allergy Fund is doing and look for ways to support it, whether it's through the donation of time, talent, or resources.