The Allergy group is made up of researchers from different professional backgrounds, the principal investigator being Dr. Montserrat Fernández Rivas. The main line of research is Food Allergy where different aspects have been addressed in projects funded by national agencies (OVALE, COALE, SOLMILK, PROFILINA, funded by ISCIII and Ministry of Economy), by the European Community (EuroPrevall, FAST, iFAAM), and by the pharmaceutical industry. Epidemiological studies have been conducted in the general population, cross-sectional studies in consultation patients, and longitudinal studies in two cohorts of children allergic to milk and egg. Diagnostic aspects have been addressed with standardisation of double-blind, placebo-controlled oral challenges, and diagnostic evaluation of skin, serological, and molecular diagnostic tests. Safety and efficacy of oral immunotherapy with milk, egg, and peanut, and subcutaneous immunotherapy with parvalbumin in fish allergy are being investigated. In addition, factors associated with severity of food allergy in patients sensitised to pollens and profilin, and in those allergic to lipid transfer proteins, and the role of proton pump inhibitors as cofactors are sought. A severity score is also being developed for use in healthcare practice and as a tool for epidemiological and intervention studies. Finally, work is being carried out on food safety aspects through the establishment and validation of threshold response levels for milk, eggs, hazelnuts, and walnuts. For the development of all these activities, the Allergy Group collaborates closely with other groups of the HCSC (Epidemiology Unit, Clinical Pharmacology), and with Spanish and European clinical and basic research groups.
Montserrat Fernández-Rivas holds a PhD in Medicine and Surgery, a speciality in Allergology and Clinical Immunology, a Higher Diploma in Clinical Research Methodology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Management.
Head of the Allergology Department at the Hospital Clínico San Carlos de Madrid, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Responsible for the subject “Food Allergy and Intolerance” in the Master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at the UCM.
She has been active in research in the field of food allergy, in aspects related to epidemiology, allergens, diagnosis, immunotherapy, and food safety. Principal investigator in national projects and Research Networks funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III and MINECO, in several integrated projects funded by the European Union (SAFE, CREATE, EuroPrevall, FAST, iFAAM), and in clinical trials of immunotherapy with food.
In 2019, she received the EAACI Clemens von Pirquet Award for lifetime achievement in clinical research.
She has published more than 220 scientific papers in international journals, and more than 15 chapters in international and national books and has given more than 150 lectures at international and Spanish Allergology meetings. H index: 50