Food Allergy

Principal Investigator: Prof TF Leung & Prof Gary Wong

Research Team: Dr Agnes Leung, Dr Alfred Tang, Dr Christine Wai and Dr Nicki Leung, Mr Edmund Yung

RGP student: Dr YP Song, Miss Jennifer WK Yau, Miss Hannah Xing


Research Scope:


  • Allergy Diagnostics and component-resolved diagnosis (CRD)

  • Immunotherapy - Recombinant DNA technology and its animal study

  • Evaluation of immuno-characteristics of DNA vaccines on human primary cells

  • Epidemiology of food allergy in rural and urban cities in China

Food allergy is caused by an abnormal immune response to substances in the food. There is no treatment for food allergy at the moment. The big eight allergens include:


The development of food allergies can be divided into the sensitization and reaction phase. The production of allergen-specific IgE during sensitization and the degranulation of mast cells in the reaction phase are the key processes involved.

Food allergies affect around 1-3% of adults and 4-6% of children worldwide, with recent studies showing its prevalence is increasing. Shellfish is the most important food allergen in Asia and the most common trigger of food-induced anaphylaxis globally, a potentially life-threatening condition. Unlike for other common food allergens, no safe treatment strategy currently exists. AXA-supported researcher, Dr. Christine Yee Yan Wai of the Department of Paediatrics of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, is looking to help develop an antiallergic DNA vaccine for shellfish allergy. Her research will provide important information for designing new therapeutic approaches for patients suffering from allergies.

You may find out more about Dr. Christine Yee Yan Wai’s research at the 2018 “Share Your AXA Research” event through the links below: 

1. Share Your AXA Research | Dr. C Yee Yan Wai: A DNA Vaccine for Shellfish Allergy | AXA Research Fund

2. Can a DNA Vaccine Beat a Shellfish Allergy? | AXA Research Fund

3. A Year in Review | Building the Future | AXA Research Fund