SOCC Core Members

Dr David Luyt – Chair

Dr David Luyt is a consultant in paediatric allergy in the children’s services at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Leicester.  Under his leadership the children’s allergy service has grown and now provides multi-professional outpatient clinics, an extensive daycare diagnostic food challenge service, sublingual and subcutaneous aeroallergen immunotherapy and oral immunotherapy for milk and egg allergy.

 

He is a member of the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Standards of Care Committee under whose auspices as lead author he was responsible for the development of guidelines for the diagnosis and management if milk allergy.  He was appointed as chair of the SOCC in 2020.  He has authored over 50 articles on paediatrics and paediatric allergy.  He has published articles on the Leicester experience of both milk and egg oral immunotherapy.

Dr Andrew Clark

 

Andrew Clark is a consultant in paediatric allergy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. His research portfolio explores the underlying mechanisms of food allergy resolution, clinical and epidemiological features of food allergy, use of diagnostic tests and the impact of a comprehensive management approach on food allergy outcome. More recently he has led translational studies of desensitisation for children with severe food allergy.

Dr Emily Staples

Emily Staples is a Consultant Immunologist and Clinical Lead at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.  She also works at the North West Anglia Foundation Trust where she started an adult allergy clinic in Stamford in 2019 and oversees the Trust’s immunology laboratory in Peterborough. Most of her training in Immunology and Allergy was at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals. She moved to Addenbrooke’s to take up an NIHR Clinical Lecturer post from where she has developed her research interest in primary immunodeficiency.

She is interested in developing and updating evidence-based guidelines and care pathways for common allergic conditions and in the development of allergy networks.  

Dr Nicola Brathwaite

Nicola Brathwaite FRCPCH, FCPaed(SA) is a consultant paediatric allergist at Kings College Hospital, London, since 2005. She completed her paediatric and allergy training in South Africa. She is a current member of the BSACI Standards of Care Committee.

She represented the RCPCH on the NICE Pharmalgen Venom Immunotherapy technology appraisal and was the lead for the Latex allergy pathway in the RCPCH Allergy Pathways project. She has an interest in clinical education and leads the Respiratory and Allergy module of the KCL Advanced Paediatrics MSc and is College Tutor for Paediatrics at Kings.

Dr Deepanjali Choudhury

Deepa Choudhury is a Portfolio GP with an interest in Allergy. She has made the transition to tertiary care in allergy and currently works in the Allergy department at Addenbrookes hospital, Cambridge on the Adult Allergy rotation. She still works in primary care in general practice and as a GP appraiser for NHS England.

Deepa is proactive in developing pathways for use in primary care and has initiated innovative ways of working such as using skype consultations for asthma in teenagers who try to avoid attending surgery. As part of the primary care group she continues to work towards primary care guidelines for common allergic conditions such as Allergic Rhinitis, Anaphylaxis Auto injector guidance which involves re-shaping of tertiary/secondary care guidelines to fit in with the requirements of primary care.

Dr Pam Ewan

Pam Ewan is a consultant Allergist at Addenbrookes Hospital, University of Cambridge Clinical School and set up the Cambridge allergy service. Before this she was Senior Lecturer, Hon Consultant and head of the Allergy Department at St Mary’s  Hospital, London. She is interested in all aspects of clinical allergy. Her research in nut allergy, anaphylaxis and venom allergy has led to improvements in patient care. In various national roles she worked to highlight the need to improve NHS allergy services, for which she was awarded the CBE. She is chair of the National Allergy Strategy Group and a past President of the BSACI.

Dr Susan Leech

Dr Susan Leech has been a consultant and clinical lead for the paediatric allergy service at Kings College Hospital since 2001. As Chair of the Paediatric Group of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, she established standards for secondary care paediatric allergy services in the UK, which have been instrumental in supporting the development of clinical paediatric allergy services over the last 10 years.  As a member of the BSACI Standards of Care Committee, she has participated in the development of numerous clinical guidelines and has recently led an update of the BSACI egg allergy guideline. She is a member of the BSACI penicillin allergy delabelling task force. She is a Director and Treasurer of the BSACI.

Dr Rita Mirakian

Rita Mirakian is a consultant in allergy at the Addenbrookes’ University Hospital (part time) and an Honorary Consultant at the Royal National Throat Nose Ear Hospital/UCLH. She is one of the early members of the SOCC and her main interests relate to the field of drug allergy and rhinology.

She has contributed to the preparation of several national guidelines for the managment of allergic conditions and is the lead author of the BSACI guideline on the ‘management of drug allergy’. Her main interest in rhinology is on the management of ‘Aspirin Exacerbated Airways disease’.

In addition Rita Mirakian has teaching committments; in particular as one of the teachers in the annual BSc course on Immunology, Autoimmity and Transplantation at UCL and as teacher in the annual MSc course in Allergy at Imperial College.

Susana Marinho

FRCP, MD, PhD
Consultant Allergist & Clinical Lead of the Allergy Service – Wythenshawe Hospital, MFT

Susana graduated from Medical School at University Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, and completed Specialist Training in Allergy in Lisbon.

Susana was appointed as Consultant in 2009 and has been instrumental in the development of the Wythenshawe Allergy Service, which has since expanded considerably, providing comprehensive allergy care for adults, with close links with the Paediatrics Service; it is also an integrated clinical and research unit with an active research programme. Susana is PI in an urticaria study and co-investigator in several studies, mainly on food allergy.

Susana has extensive experience in all aspects of clinical allergy, her specialist areas of interest being drug hypersensitivity, anaphylaxis and food allergy.

Susana is a Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester and has a keen interest in education in Allergy, being a member of the Allergy Specialist Advisory Committee from the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board, Training programme Director for Allergy at HEE-NW and regularly teaching foundation and core medical trainees, GPs, and other clinicians/AHPs; she is co-lead for the Hypersensitivity Module of the Immunology MSc from the University of Manchester and is Educational Supervisor to 2 Allery STRs.

 

Deborah Marriage

Deb Marriage is the Consultant Nurse for Allergy and Asthma at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, UK where she has worked since the allergy service opened in 2002.  She previously worked in allergy at St Mary’s Hospital, London. Deb successfully completed the MSc in Allergy at Southampton University in 2010 and a Professional Doctorate in Health at the University of Bath in 2017.

Deb manages the Paediatric Allergy Service and is involved in local training programmes for GPs and practice nurses, and asthma and allergy teaching in schools and primary care. She is an advocate for nurse-led services and in promoting the extended role of nurses. She enjoys research and her particular interests are in egg and peanut allergy.

Deb was previously the Chair of the Nurses in Allergy Committee and became a member of SOCC in 2018. She is also involved in the Paediatric Allergy Group.

Prof Richard Powell

MB, BS, DM, FRCP, FRCPath
Emeritus Professor of Clinical Immunology and Allergy – Nottingham University

Richard Powell was Professor of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Nottingham University Hospitals, Queens Medical Centre until 2007. Since 2008, he has worked predominantly in the private sector but continues to pursue his research interests at Nottingham University related to autoinflammatory diseases.  He has been a member of SOCC since its inception and has taken the lead in the development of urticaria and angioedema guidelines.

Nicola Rew

Graduate of Nottingham University (MNutr) Nutrition and Dietetics. Working as Clinical Lead Dietitian in Paediatric Allergy in the children’s services at Nottingham Children’s Hospital where I work as part of the allergy service and wider multidisciplinary team, comprising of Consultant Paediatricians with interest in allergy and dermatology and Paediatric Allergy and Respiratory Specialist Nurses.

Specialises in the diagnosis and dietary management of infants and children with multiple food allergies, offering practical dietary advice to support parents and children. Involved in the provision of multi-professional outpatient allergy clinics, hospital-based food challenges, service development and both patient and professional education sessions, patient-information and resource development and individualised support with infants and children with complex multiple food allergies. 

Member of the British Dietetic Association, Food Allergy Specialist Group (FASG).

Dr Prathap Pillai MBBS MD MRCP(UK) CCT Allergy PhD

Dr Prathap Pillai is a Consultant in the Department of Adult Allergy at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

He underwent his specialist training in Allergy at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. During the same period, he also completed a research fellowship programme, and a clinical trial investigating the effects of anti-IgE therapy (Omalizumab) in non-atopic asthma and was awarded PhD by King’s College London.

He has been a member of BSACI for over 10 years and sat in the RCP Expert Advisory Group on clinical commissioning as a BSACI representative in the past.

He has clinical background and experience in the management of a range of allergic disorders at secondary and tertiary level. He conducts out-patient clinics in Allergy, including drug allergy, specialist joint clinics with ENT and drug & food allergy challenge sessions. His special interests include airway and drug allergies.

 

Dr Leonard Siew

Dr Leonard Siew is the lead consultant for the adult allergy immunotherapy service at Guy’s Hospital.

He graduated from Bristol University Medical School and read for a PhD in Immunology at King’s College London, investigating the effects of cigarette smoking on the inflammatory process in asthma, graduating without corrections. He then graduated with Merit with the MSc in Medical Leadership.

Leonard has over nine years clinical trials experience and worked on over 50 clinical trials. As a senior research physician at Quintiles Drug Research Unit at Guy’s Hospital, he was principal investigator for trials in asthma, COPD and challenge models of obstructive airways disease.

He trained and completed his allergy specialist qualification at Guy’s Hospital, London. He currently sits on the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board specialist advisory committee in allergy as the vice chair as well as the curriculum and assessment lead. He is also the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology Representative on the Joint Committee on Immunology and Allergy of the Royal College of Physicians (London) and The Royal College of Pathologists.

Education and training

  • CCT in Allergy, General Medical Council, UK (2019)
  • MSc in Medical Leadership with Merit, Royal College of Physicians and Birkbeck, University of London, UK (2017)
  • PhD in Immunology, Pass with no corrections, King’s College London School of Medicine, UK (2015)
  • MRCP(UK), Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom (2005)
  • Advanced Life Support Provider, Resuscitation Council (UK) (2002; Recertified 2007, 2013 and 2018)
  • MB ChB, Medical Degree, Medical School, University of Bristol, UK (1999)

 

Isabel Skypala

Since graduating as a dietitian in 1979, Isabel has worked at the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital, a world-renowned specialist cardiothoracic centre. In 2014, after 12 years as the Director of Rehabilitation & Therapies and responsible for nine Allied Health services, Isabel was appointed clinical lead for food allergy and the UK’s first consultant allergy dietitian. She is also an honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Imperial College London. Isabel gained her PhD at Kings College London in 2009 and continues to specialise in research on plant food allergy in adults. Isabel pioneered the role of dietitians in allergy, including co-founding the International Network of Diet and Nutrition in Allergy, now allied to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. She was the first dietitian to sit on both the Council of the British Society of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (BSACI), and the Executive Committee of the European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. In 2014, Isabel received the BSACI William Frankland award for services to clinical allergy.

Helen Fisher

Helen Fisher has been a paediatric allergy research nurse at KCL/GSTFT since 2006, and previously at St Mary’s Hospital. She was involved in the development of the LEAP study and has since worked on the LEAP and EAT studies, and oral desensitisation trials. She completed a PHD in Healthcare research in 2013. She is also currently a Research Fellow with the NIHR Research Design Service London, helping HCPs to develop fundable research proposals.

Dr Liz Powell

Dr Liz Powell is a paediatric trainee undertaking sub-specialty (GRID) training in paediatric allergy at Addenbrooke’s hospital, Cambridge.  She has previously completed a PhD at Imperial College, London studying the infant respiratory microbiome.  She has a particular interest in improving allergy training for paediatric trainees and has published educational articles and driven the development of further virtual paediatric allergy education.

Dr Nasreen Khan

Nasreen Khan  leads the Adult Allergy service in Leicester. She is a Consultant Allergist and Respiratory Physician and proud of the multidisciplinary team at UHL (Leicester). The Leicester Adult Allergy service provides a comprehensive package of care and works closely with its local network (Trent Regional Immunology and Allergy Consortium). As a founder member of the SOCC and co-author of the beta lactam guidelines Nasreen was delighted to be reappointed and looks forward once more to serving the BSACI.  A former Editor of Allergy Update and member for 20 years, she is committed to the society.  She is currently CESR lead for the Allergy SAC and has been involved in the development of the new ACI (ACIL) specialty. Nasreen looks forward to welcoming trainees to the new curriculum at a time when the pandemic has presented new challenges and opportunities for change to the speciality.

 

Dr Eleanor Minshall

Dr Eleanor Minshall is currently working as a Consultant in Paediatric Allergy at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. She gained her specialist qualification in Children’s Allergy in 2012 and has trained in a number of prestigious paediatric hospitals including Great Ormond Street, Imperial College, Addenbrookes, Southampton, and The Royal London. Before going into medicine, Dr Minshall did a PhD at King’s College, London and subsequently a post-doctoral fellowship in Montreal, Canada. During this time, she investigated the profile of inflammatory mediators in various allergic conditions including atopic asthma and allergic rhinitis. Dr Minshall’s current interests include ‘active’ allergy management, cow’s milk allergy and non-IgE mediated food allergies.

Dr Jose Maia e Costa, MD FRCPCH

José is a Consultant Paediatrician in Allergy and is the Paediatric Allergy Services lead at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire. He graduated from Coimbra’s Medical school, in Portugal and did his post-graduate training in England. He holds two post-graduate certificates; one in Paediatric Allergy, from Instituto de Ciências da Saúde da Universidade Católica in Lisbon/Portugal and the other in Allergy, undertaken at the Imperial College in London.

In April 2020 he was appointed an Honorary Clinical Lecturer in Allergy at Warwick Medical School.

His interests in Allergy are in immunotherapy, oral desensitization, MCAS, spontaneous urticaria and angioedema.

Dr Judith Clayton

Dr Judith Clayton is a GP partner at Lensfield Medical Practice in Cambridge.  She has an interest in both paediatric and adult allergy and in 2015 she completed an Msc in Allergy at Imperial College London with distinction.  She serves on the BSACI Primary Care Group and joined SOCC in 2021.

Dr Shelley Dua

Dr Shelley Dua is a Consultant Allergist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.  After qualifying from Edinburgh University, Shelley completed her medical and specialist training in London and Cambridge. Her PhD thesis, awarded by the University of Cambridge, examined the effect of sleep deprivation and exercise on the threshold and severity of peanut allergic reactions. Shelley has a particular interest in food allergy, anaphylaxis and allergen risk management and is co-chair for the European task force for food allergy at the Institute of Life Sciences. Shelley continues to promote Allergy as a specialty nationally and is Vice-Chair of the specialist advisory committee for Allergy at the Royal College of Physicians.

 

Dr Lavanya Diwakar

Dr Lavanya Diwakar is a consultant immunologist at the University Hospital of North Midlands. She has been awarded a PhD in health economics by the University of Birmingham in 2018. Lavanya has an interest in health pathways, particularly those related to allergy services in the UK. She is currently working on a Wellcome Trust-funded project aimed at better understanding allergy services and the burden of allergies in the UK. She has previously been a NICE scholar and has recently been awarded a scholarship by the West Midlands Clinical Research Network.

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