Steve has been researching food allergies and sensitivities for nearly forty years, is heavily involved in outreach to the food industry on these issues and has advised countless companies on a wide range of allergen related topics. The Food Allergy Research & Resource Program, which he co-founded, is a food industry-funded consortium spanning more than 90 companies in 11 countries. Steve has BS and MS degrees in food science and technology from Oregon State University and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of California – Davis.
The prevalence of food allergies has increased dramatically over the last 25 years, with infants and children most severely affected. Around 8% of American children now have allergies, often to multiple food types. Symptoms can be severe, even fatal. While many outgrow their allergies, persistence into adulthood is increasingly common so that around 4% of adults are now affected. There’s currently no cure for such allergies, but approaches that promote the acquisition of oral tolerance in early infancy, or that achieve consistent desensitization, do show promise. Steve investigates new approaches to stalling the growth in allergies, and the opportunities those approaches might present for food industry innovators.