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Real Talk: Eosinophilic Diseases

Dec 28, 2021

Recent findings from research co-funded by APFED and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology could have a major impact on food allergy testing for people with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). In this episode, co-hosts Dawn McCoy and Ryan Piansky discuss the research that could better identify food triggers that cause EoE symptoms with the principal investor of the study, David Hill, MD, PhD.

Dr. Hill is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and an Attending Physician in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). In addition to being a practicing allergist, Dr. Hill runs a basic and translational research laboratory that studies the role of the immune system in allergy and obesity, with a particular focus on eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). He is the author of more than 50 research articles and abstracts, is on the Editorial Board of BMC Pediatrics, and has been the recipient of several awards including the Young Faculty Award from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and the Young Physician-Scientist Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

In this episode, Dr. Hill shares more about his interest in studying EoE, and how he became involved in research related to food triggers and EoE. He explains how the new tests he and his team have created compare to traditional food allergy tests, and why the new tests are much more effective at identifying EoE food triggers. Dr. Hill also sheds light on the impact these tests could have on clinical management of EoE, and the impact they could have on people with EoE. Tune in to find out more.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this podcast is designed to support, not replace the relationship that exists between listeners and their healthcare providers. Opinions, information, and recommendations shared in this podcast are not a substitute for medical advice. Decisions related to medical care should be made with your healthcare provider. Opinions and views of guests and co-hosts are their own.


Key Takeaways:

[1:34] Ryan introduces the guest for this episode — Dr. David Hill.

[2:15] Dr. Hill shares information about his background and what led to his interest in studying eosinophilic esophagitis.

[3:38] How does traditional food allergy testing work?

[6:37] Dr. Hill is involved in research to create a special test to help quickly and easily identify foods that could be triggering symptoms of EoE. He explains how he entered this research area.

[10:03] Dr. Hill recently published a paper describing a new form of testing for EoE. He explains more about the test and how it fits in clinical management.

[11:34] Are Dr. Hill's tests similar to the food sensitivities tests available online?

[12:39] What are T-cells?

[15:36] Traditional food allergy tests are not much better than guessing for diagnosing allergens. Dr. Hill’s new test is much more accurate.

[18:51] These same types of tests can also be used to determine if new triggers have developed in a patient with EoE.

[20:23] Could this test also be applied to non-food triggers such as environmental allergies?

[21:23] Would this test be beneficial for other sorts of eosinophil-associated diseases that aren't purely focused on the digestive tract?

[22:56] Are clinicians already using this test in daily practice?

[24:35] Is Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) the only center currently recruiting for this study?

[25:50] What are some things that have surprised Dr. Hill in his research?

[27:25] What are some of Dr. Hill's upcoming research projects related to EoE?

[30:00] Dr. Hill shares some final thoughts.


Mentioned in This Episode:

American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED)

APFED on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram

Dr. David Hill


Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)

2021 EOS Connection Patient Education Conference

EOS Connections Online Community


This episode is brought to you thanks to the support of our Education Partners: Bristol Myers Squibb, Sanofi Genzyme, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.



“We study EoE using animal models, and we've actually shown that IgE is not necessary to develop an EoE-like disease in a mouse, for example.” — Dr. Hill


“We developed a new test that instead of looking at the IgE molecule, looks at the T-cell, and what we're hoping is that by looking at the food response that the T-cell makes, that we can then figure out which foods are causing the disease.” — Dr. Hill


“[The tests] could be used to determine whether or not new triggers or previously undiagnosed triggers were contributing to EoE.” — Dr. Hill