Leaders in allergy research unite at inaugural NACE Symposium

Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 6:00 AM

NACE Symposium

Allergy experts from across Australia will unite at the inaugural National Allergy Centre of Excellence (NACE) Symposium today to help drive the future of allergy research.

More than 100 allergy researchers, clinicians and professionals will converge on Melbourne to hear how the latest developments in consumer involvement, digital health and living evidence can help advance their research.


Prof Kirsten PerrettProfessor Kirsten Perrett, NACE and Centre for Food Allergy Research (CFAR) Director, who will chart the future of food allergy research, said: “This is a unique opportunity for leaders in drug, food, insect and respiratory allergy to learn new ways to help combat one of Australia’s greatest public health challenges”.

The NACE will announce a new scheme to partner researchers with people who have lived experience in allergic disease, in a move to ensure Australian allergy studies ask the right questions and address the issues that matter most to consumers.

Applications are now open for researchers to access up to four members of the NACE Consumer Engagement Register, to:

  • Provide feedback on research project design
  • Review research materials
  • Take part in dedicated focus groups
  • Give advice on communicating research findings.

Ken Knight“Now, more than ever, community members are seen as a fundamental aspect of ethical and impactful health and medical research,” said Ken Knight, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Head of Research Impact & Consumer Involvement, who will deliver a session on why – and how to – seek consumer engagement in allergy research design.

Adjunct Prof Sach JayashingheAdjunct Prof Sach Jayasinghe, Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation Ltd (QCIF) Chief Executive Officer, will outline digital advances enabling health research and translation, which, he said, is not all about AI. 

“Contemporary research is increasingly reliant on sophisticated technology platforms that generate copious amount of data, as well as advanced approaches to linking divergent data sets and application of cutting-edge AI methods for analysing the resulting big data,” he said.

“By unpacking the complex Australian research infrastructure landscape, we will highlight the latest digital capabilities that can accelerate the research programs of individual research groups and collaborative consortia.”

Dr Heath WhiteDr Heath White, Cochrane Australia, Australian Living Evidence Collaboration, Evidence and Methods, Director, will explain how living evidence uses continuous evidence surveillance and rapid response pathways to incorporate new, relevant information into clinical guidelines as it becomes available.

“Having been successfully applied to the development and maintenance of guidelines in critical areas including stroke, kidney disease, arthritis and COVID-19, these processes overcome many problems inherent to traditional guidelines while aiming to minimise effort and maximise impact,” he said.

Delegates will also hear how the NACE, supported by funding from the Australian Government, has developed tools and resources in these key areas, including:

  • A Consumer Advisory Group and Consumer Engagement Register for allergy research
  • A Clinical Trials Network to streamline the start-up of national allergy trials giving Australians faster access to emerging treatment options
  • The National Allergy Studies Directory to connect members of the allergy community with clinical trials and studies underway across Australia
  • Evidence synthesis to underpin the activities of partner allergy organisations, including the National Allergy Council
  • Awarding seven Postgraduate Scholarships and four Postdoctoral Fellowships to continue the momentum as the next generation of allergy researchers.

The program will also include panel discussions, presentations from NACE and CFAR Postgraduate Scholars and networking opportunities.

Tomorrow, emerging allergy researchers will take part in the NACE – CFAR Training Day, including specialised sessions in science communications and how to approach research impact.

Follow @NACEresearch on X/Twitter for updates.

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Proudly in partnership with the National Allergy Council and allergy organisations