Ruchi S. Gupta, M.D. M.P.H.
Food Allergies In Children
A large, national study of food allergies in the U.S. finds that more children have allergies, including severe allergies, than previously thought. Dr. Ruchi S. Gupta M.D. M.P.H, one of the authors of the study, comes on teh show to discuss how this estimate of the prevalence of food allergies differs from what prior research has found, and what she think is the reason. She will also discuss various types of allergies and which are most common.
Dr. Gupta is the Director of the Center for Maternal and Child Healthcare at Northwestern University’s Institute for Healthcare Studies and a pediatrician at Children’s Memorial Hospital. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Asthma Consortium and the Academic Chair of the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities. Dr. Gupta received an M.D. from the University of Louisville, where she was awarded the Guaranteed Entrance to Medical School Scholarship. She completed her residency at the University of Seattle and was honored with the Fitzhugh Mullen Resident Leadership Award and the American Medical Association’s National Leadership Award. Following residency, Dr Gupta entered the Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston and received an M.P.H from the Harvard School of Public Health. She then continued as a NRSA fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where she is currently on faculty. Dr. Gupta’s research interests include childhood asthma and food allergy.
As an academic pediatrician, Dr. Gupta’s primary goal is to reduce childhood asthma prevalence, severity and disparities in the US. Dr. Gupta began her study of asthma as a fellow at Children’s Hospital Boston, where she worked on assessing disparities in childhood asthma. Since that time, she has conducted several studies and published multiple papers investigating asthma and asthma disparities. Her research indicates that childhood asthma rates in Chicago vary significantly by neighborhood, even among adjacent communities and neighborhoods with similar racial/ethnic populations. Recently, Dr. Gupta was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars award to transform students with asthma into researchers to identify personally-relevant community factors affecting their asthma, and to address these factors through student-produced Public Service Announcements. This will empower students to improve their disease through their research and become leaders in educating their communities and peers to help make positive change in their communities. Dr. Gupta is now uniquely positioned to conduct this program in other communities in the US to help determine specific community factors impacting asthma and develop personalized interventions to improve childhood asthma and reduce disparities.
Once at Northwestern, Dr. Gupta began her work investigating childhood food allergy. She developed and launched three surveys aimed at assessing food allergy knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of primary care physicians, parents of food-allergic children, and the general public. As a result of this work, Dr. Gupta has published several papers detailing important misconceptions and the need for increased awareness regarding food allergy. She has also published on the quality of life of food allergic children and their families. Dr. Gupta is currently in the process of publishing several papers regarding the prevalence and distribution of childhood food allergy in the U.S., in thanks to generous support from the Food Allergy Initiative.
Melanie Cole, M.S.