Editorial introductions : Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology

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Editorial introductions

Editorial introductions

Editor(s): Canonica, Giorgio Walter; Tarlo, Susan M.; Pawankar, Ruby; Skoner, David P.; Grant, Andrew; Heffler, Enrico

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 23(1):p v-viii, February 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/ACI.0000000000000878
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Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology was launched in 2001. It is one of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The fields of allergy and clinical immunology are divided into 14 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Journal's Editors and Section Editors for this issue.


Giorgio Walter Canonica

Giorgio Walter Canonica

Prof. Giorgio Walter Canonica is Professor at Humanitas University, Italy, and Director of the Personalized Medicine Clinic: Asthma and Allergy at the Humanitas Clinical Research Center, Milano, Italy. He was formerly Director of the Allergy and Respiratory Diseases Clinic, Genoa University, Italy; a GALEN Centre of Excellence. Professor Canonica first specialised in pulmonary diseases after having received his medical degree from the University of Genoa, Italy. He then specialised in allergy and clinical immunology at Florence University, Italy. He subsequently conducted clinical immunology and allergology research in several European universities and institutes, in addition to two years at the Medical University of South Carolina, USA. Since returning to the University of Genoa in 1995, Professor Canonica has held a number of academic positions including Director of the Speciality School of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Director of the Specialty School of Pulmonary Diseases and Chairman of the Dept of Medical Specialties (University Hospital S. Martino Genoa, Italy).

He is a board member of ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma) and GALEN (Global Allergy and Asthma European Network).

Professor Canonica's research interests include examination of the molecular events and interactions between immunocompetent cells, inflammatory cells and epithelial cells in allergic inflammation and airway remodelling. He is particularly involved in new strategies in the treatment of allergic disease, including biological response modifiers, such as specific immunotherapy (with a special focus on SLIT – sublingual immunotherapy) and biologics. Professor Canonica has published extensively in international journals and acts as a referee of many immunology journals. In addition, Professor Canonica is a member of a number of societies, and recently served six years as Secretary General and President Elect of the World Allergy Organisation (WAO), and was President of WAO 2008–2009 and President of Interasma 2015–2016. He was President of SIMeR (Italian Society of Respiratory Medicine) 2000–2003 and he has been Honorary President of this same society since 2007. He was President of SIAAIC Italian Society of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology (2014–2017) and is now General Executive Director of the same society.

Susan M. Tarlo

Susan M. Tarlo

Dr Susan M. Tarlo MB BS FRCP(C) is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is a respiratory physician at the University Health Network, Toronto Western Hospital, Canada, and at the Gage Occupational and Environmental Health Unit and Centre of Research Excellence in Occupational Diseases of St Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Her main areas of clinical practice and research are in occupational and environmental lung diseases and allergic responses, especially occupational asthma. She initially graduated from medical school at London University, UK, and underwent postgraduate training in England for four years before going to Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, for a year as a fellow in allergy and clinical immunology, followed by respiratory medicine residency for two years at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. She has been in Toronto as a staff physician at the Toronto General Hospital and then at Toronto Western Hospital as well as at the Gage Occupational and Environmental Health Unit since 1976, as well as holding academic positions at the University of Toronto since that time.


Ruby Pawankar

Ruby Pawankar

Prof. Ruby Pawankar, MD, PhD, FRCP (UK), FAAAAI, is currently the President of the Asia Pacific Association of Allergy Asthma and Clinical Immunology (APAAACI), President of the Indian Academy of Allergy (IAA) and Council Member of the Collegium Internationale Allergolicum (CIA). She was President of the World Allergy Organization (WAO) in 2012 and 2013, after serving in different capacities in the WAO Board since 2001.

Prof. Pawankar heads the Division of Allergy in the Department of Pediatrics at Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan, and is Guest Professor at the Showa University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating in medicine from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, India, Prof. Pawankar did her residency and post-graduation from BJ Medical College, Pune, India. Thereafter, she trained in allergy and clinical immunology at the Nippon Medical School and Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan, from where she obtained her doctorate.

Prof. Pawankar serves on numerous committees and boards of many academic organizations and grant reviews, is a member/fellow of organizations including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American College of Allergy and Immunology, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the Japanese Society of Allergology. She is a recipient of many academic awards, including the International Distinguished Fellow Award from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from the President of India for excellence in medicine.

Prof. Pawankar's research has focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of allergy, immune cells like mast cells and T cells, epithelial cell-immune cell interactions, novel roles of IgE, mast cell-IgE cascade, environmental pollution, immunotherapy and novel therapies for respiratory allergies. Currently her group focuses on biomarkers in asthma and the gut microbiome in early life in relation to allergic diseases. Her research and educational activities have been strongly translational as it applies to clinical science. This has resulted in 499 publications (h-index 66) including peer-reviewed original articles, invited reviews and book chapters. She has also been an Editor/Associate Editor of several peer-reviewed journals such as International Archives of Allergy, Clinical Experimental Immunology, and Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, WAO J, and books including Allergy Frontiers (Springer Nature), the WAO White Book on Allergy, Update on Respiratory Disorders, Monograph on Allergies and is a co-author of several consensus documents. Prof. Pawankar has organized several international congresses as well as several educational programs and has been a visiting faculty to lecture at several institutions.

David P. Skoner

David P. Skoner

Dr David P. Skoner is currently the Director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology, West Virginia University Children's Hospital, USA, and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, West Virginia University School of Medicine, USA. Previously, he served as Director of the Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, USA, Professor of Medicine at Temple University's School of Medicine, USA, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA, and Chief of the Section of Allergy/Immunology and Director of the Allergy and Immunology Training Program at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, USA. He is board-certified in both pediatrics and allergy-immunology.

Dr Skoner received his BS degree from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA, and his MD degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served his residency in general pediatrics at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, and completed his fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

His current research interests include the relationships between respiratory viruses, asthma, immunity, and stress; the relationship between viral and allergen-induced nasal inflammation and middle ear disease; and the efficacy and safety (HPA axis function and growth in children) of inhaled and intranasal steroids. Dr Skoner has received NIH funding, written more than 250 articles, and given more than 500 presentations on respiratory disease in over 60 countries on six continents. His articles and abstracts have been published in many leading journals, including Pediatrics, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Pediatric Research, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, JAMA, and American Review of Respiratory Disease. Dr Skoner serves on the editorial advisory boards of the journals Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, and Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and previously served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Rhinology. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the Society of Pediatric Research, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, and the American Pediatric Society. He has been recognized as one of America's “Top Doctors” (Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.) from 2001 to 2014, as one of the Most Influential Doctors by USA TODAY (http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/most-influential-doctors.htm), and as a U.S. News Top Doctor (www.usnews.com/top-doctors). He was invited to join the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) Pediatric Asthma Therapeutics Group convened by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Dr Skoner co-founded the International Asthma Conference at Nemacolin (www.asthma-nemacolin.com), a CME program that attracts an international audience and faculty, now in its fifteenth year. Dr Skoner also founded two non-profit organizations, For Your Good Health (www.fygh.org) and Maci's TEAMS (www.macisteams.org), designed to keep children with allergy and asthma “active” and “safe on medications”, respectively. These non-profits bring together asthma stakeholders in the development and implementation of state-of the-art programs to educate children with asthma and their caregivers about the disease and its management, including medication safety. The aim of these programs is to reduce asthma's impact on patients, caregivers, the community, and the healthcare system by helping the patients to lead near-normal lives and be free of medication side effects. He also previously served on the board of the non-profit Greater Pittsburgh Allergy Asthma and Immunology Society (GPAAIS), which serves to educate and inform physicians and other health care providers. Dr Skoner was selected as a finalist in the category of “Health Care Provider: Physician” for the 2013 Pittsburgh Business Times Health Care Heroes Awards.

Andrew Grant

Andrew Grant

Dr Grant is a native of Florida and received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, USA, in biochemical sciences. After attending Duke Medical School, USA, he did a residency in internal medicine at New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Center in New York City, USA. He did a fellowship in immunology with Leroy Hood at the National Institutes of Health and an allergy-immunology clinical fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, USA, with Phillip Norman and Lawrence Lichtenstein. In 1973, he established the first basic and clinical research program in allergy in Texas at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, USA. Presently, he is Clinical Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology-Immunology and training program director in allergy-immunology at that institution. He has served as Division Director and Vice Chair for Research within the Department of Internal Medicine. He vacations during the summer months in Colorado and has been appointed Clinical Professor at University of Colorado Medical School, USA.

Dr Grant has been an active member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology for over four decades. His contributions to this organization include chairing the Program Directors Assembly, Mechanisms of Allergy Interest Section, Postgraduate Education Committee, Scientific Workshops and Exhibits Committee, and Immunotherapy Committee. He served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. He founded In-training Examination for Allergy-Immunology postdoctoral fellows, the first subspecialty exam of its type.

Dr Grant served as President of the Texas Allergy Asthma and Immunology Society and a Director of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, and a member of the Residency Review Committee for Allergy and Immunology. He chaired the Pulmonary Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee of the Food and Drugs Administration and is currently a member of the Allergenic Products Advisory Committee. He was a visiting professor at the National Heart and Lung Institute with Professor Barry Kay in 1994.

Dr Grant's research interests have included mechanisms of cellular activation especially the role of chemokines and novel therapies for allergic disorders. Currently he is emphasizing management of difficult patients with urticaria and angioedema. He has authored over 190 publications and chapters and 175 presentations at national and international meetings.

Enrico Heffler

Enrico Heffler

Enrico Heffler is an allergist and clinical immunologist who trained at the University of Torino, Italy. As a post-graduate, he spent a research period at the Respiratory Diseases department of Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, UK (2006–2007). He obtained a PhD on experimental medicine and treatment at the University of Torino in 2012.

Dr Heffler worked for few years as a Consultant in Allergy for the Italian healthcare system before he obtained a position as Assistant Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Catania, Italy, where he worked from 2015–2017. In 2017 he started working as Assistant Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Humanitas University of Milan, Italy, and in March 2020 upgraded his position to Associate Professor in Internal Medicine at the same University.

Professor Heffler has published more than 160 articles in peer-reviewed international scientific journals, many of them on respiratory topics such as asthma, airway inflammation, upper airway diseases and allergic sensitization.

He served as the Junior Members chair and elected Executive Committee member of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), and subsequently as an Asthma Section board member, and the as an Immunotherapy Interest Group member of the EAACI. Professor Heffler was also the Secretary General of the Italian Society of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology (SIAAIC) until June 2019, and now is the Scientific Coordinator of the same society. He is also the current President of the Italian Academy of Nasal Cytology (AICNA). Prof. Heffler is also the current chair of the Adult Asthma Committee of the World Allergy Organization (WAO). He has been also nominated and admitted as a member of the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum (CIA).

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