Hongkai Tan

Insect Allergy Stream PhD Scholar 

  • PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales
  • Project: Role of glyco-antigens (including alpha-gal) in tick-induced anaphylaxis and their clinical significance (including the development of concurrent mammalian meat allergy in tick anaphylaxis sufferers)
  • Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Alice Lee, Food Allergy Stream Advisory Group member
  • Project leader, State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology of China 

Why is this research important to you personally, and those living with insect allergy? 

I have been studying allergy in the State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology of China during my postgraduate research program, and developed a deep understanding of the pain patients suffer as a result of allergic disease. I urgently want to help develop the understanding and novel therapeutics in tick-induced anaphylaxis to help patients. This research will help pave the way towards component-resolved diagnostics and immunotherapy opportunities for insect allergy, and help people plagued by insect allergy all around the world.

What inspired you to pursue a career in allergy research?  

During my postgraduate studies, I accidentally found out I am allergic to milk. I understand how uncomfortable being impacted by allergy is. Tick-induced mammalian meat allergy has become an emergent allergy world-wide, especially in Australia. China has also reported cases of this allergy, though minor, but with a growing tendency. Our understanding of tick-induced mammalian meat allergy is still so limited. To help, I want to devote myself to insect allergy research and expand our knowledge of how to treat and prevent this illness.


Allergenicity evaluation of peptides from milk and yogurt after gastrointestinal digestion based on epitopes. Food & Function, Oct 2022

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