Fernanda D. Young, M.D.

Food Allergy Research Section

Established in 2014

NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD

Fernanda D. Young, M.D. (She/Her/Hers)

Staff Clinician, Assistant Research Physician

Contact: For contact information, search the NIH Enterprise Directory.

Specialty(s): Allergy and Immunology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics
Provides direct clinical care to patients at NIH Clinical Center

Fern Young Headshot

Major Areas of Research

Dr. Young’s work places an emphasis on clinical research to identify contributory factors to:

  • food allergy and allergic disease
  • transplant associated food allergy
  • drug allergy and drug reactions

Program Description

Food allergy is a significant health problem in the United States, affecting children and adults, both immune competent and immune compromised. The overall goal of the Food Allergy Research Section (FARS) is to understand the genetic, immunologic, and biochemical pathways that lead to the development of food allergy and how they can be modified for therapeutic benefit. We aim to achieve this goal using a multifaceted approach with studies involving both patients and animal models of their diseases.

Our team in particular is studying why only some patients who have detectable IgE to specific foods experience an allergic reaction when they eat the food, and we are working to identify immunologic markers that can predict the severity and persistence of food allergy.

By achieving a greater understanding of the key environmental, immunologic, and biochemical pathways that drive the development of food allergy, we will be able to develop novel interventions that are based on a advanced understanding of disease pathogenesis.



M.D., University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

Languages Spoken


Dr. Young earned a pre-doctoral fellowship through Howard Hughes Medical Institute and worked on a live attenuated Cholera vaccine at the Channing Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. She received her doctorate in medicine from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, WA, with clinical rotations across urban, rural, and military sites across Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, and Montana. She then completed dual residencies in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Los Angeles County and University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, where she was honored with the Keck School of Medicine of USC Outstanding Teaching in Pediatric Core Clerkship award. She completed a fellowship in Allergy and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in San Francisco, CA. Because of her clinical and scholarly achievements, she was selected as the UCSF Chief Fellow in Allergy/Immunology and served on the Graduate Medical Education Committee. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics and is licensed to practice medicine in California. She is fluent in English and Spanish and her poetry has been displayed at the gardens of San Francisco General Hospital.

Selected Publications

Tsao LR, Young FD, Otani IM, Castells MC. Hypersensitivity Reactions to Platinum Agents and Taxanes. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2022 Jun;62(3):432-448.

Hubbard TP, Billings G, Dörr T, Sit B, Warr AR, Kuehl CJ, Kim M, Delgado F, Mekalanos JJ, Lewnard JA, Waldor MK. A live vaccine rapidly protects against cholera in an infant rabbit model. Sci Transl Med. 2018 Jun 13;10(445):eaap8423.

Dörr T, Delgado F, Umans BD, Gerding MA, Davis BM, Waldor MK. A Transposon Screen Identifies Genetic Determinants of Vibrio cholerae Resistance to High-Molecular-Weight Antibiotics. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 Jul 22;60(8):4757-63.

Dörr T, Alvarez L, Delgado F, Davis BM, Cava F, Waldor MK. A cell wall damage response mediated by a sensor kinase/response regulator pair enables beta-lactam tolerance. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jan 12;113(2):404-9.

Malen R, Knerr S, Delgado F, Fullerton SM, Thompson B. Rural Mexican-Americans' perceptions of family health history, genetics, and disease risk: implications for disparities-focused research dissemination. J Community Genet. 2016 Jan;7(1):91-6.

Delgado F, Tabor HK, Chow PM, Conta JH, Feldman KW, Tsuchiya KD, Beck AE. Single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays and unexpected consanguinity: considerations for clinicians when returning results to families. Genet Med. 2015 May;17(5):400-4.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

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