Guerrerio Research Group

Our research program is focused on understanding the key genetic, immunologic, and biochemical pathways that lead to the development of food allergy, eosinophilic esophagitis, and other related diseases, and how this information can be translated into therapeutic benefit. Our group uses a multifaceted approach using both human samples and mouse models to perform basic, translational, and clinical studies. Our current efforts are focused on investigating the environmental and immunologic factors that influence the development and severity of food allergy, identifying new approaches for the prevention and treatment of food allergy, and identifying single gene disorders associated with an increased propensity for food allergy and other allergic conditions.

Pamela Guerrerio, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief, Laboratory of Allergic Diseases
Chief, Food Allergy Research Section

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

Provides direct clinical care to patients at NIH Clinical Center

Education:

PH.D. in Human Genetics, Johns Hopkins University
B.S. in Biology, University of Iowa

Dr. Guerrerio joined NIAID in 2014 and is currently a Senior Investigator and Chief of the Food Allergy Research Section. Her research program is focused on understanding the key genetic, immunologic, and biochemical pathways that lead to the development of food allergy, eosinophilic esophagitis, and other related diseases, and how this information can be translated into therapeutic benefit.

Pamela A. Guerrerio, M.D., Ph.D.​

Katelin Lara Davis, D.V.M. (She/Her/Hers)

Molecular Pathology Fellow

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Education:

NIH Comparative Biomedical Scientist Training Program in partnership with Purdue University

Veterinary Anatomic Pathology Residency and Ph.D. Coursework, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

D.V.M, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

B.S., Walsh University, North Canton, OH

I am working on my Ph.D. research in the FARU lab. As a veterinarian and researcher, I have a strong interest in animal modeling of human diseases and comparative pathology. My research focuses on investigating the role of the innate immune system in food allergy sensitization, the development of food allergies, and oral tolerance.

Portrait of Katelin Lara Davis, DVM

Estefania Claudio Etienne, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers)

Biologist

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Education:

Ph.D., Universidad de Oviedo, Spain

Languages Spoken: Spanish

My research is focused on PI3K delta syndrome (APDS), a disease caused by a gain of function mutation in the gene encoding PI3Kdelta. Clinical manifestations are diverse, ranging from severe recurrent infections to lymphoproliferation.  My work is focused on understanding whether these patients are more prone to allergic disease and the underlying mechanisms involved.

Portrait of Estefania Claudio Etienne, Ph.D.

Tamara T. Haque, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers)

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Education:

Ph.D., Immunology, Virginia Commonwealth University

B.S., Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University

Languages Spoken: Bengali

I am currently working on elucidating the role of TGFbeta and PI3K signaling in humoral and innate immune responses that lead to type 2 inflammation. My long-term research interests are to understand signaling mechanisms that give rise to aberrant IgE production and responses. I am also interested in mast cell biology in allergic diseases and beyond.

Portrait of Tamara T. Haque, B.S.

Stella P. Hartono, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers)

Allergy and Immunology Fellow 

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Education:

M.D., Ph.D., Immunology, Mayo Alix School of Medicine, Rochester, MN

Residency, Pediatrician Scientist Training and Development Program, Texas Children’s Hospital - Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

B.S., Chemistry and Microbiology, California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, Pomona, CA

Languages Spoken: Bahasa

I am interested in the immune response to allergens in the context of vaccines. I am currently using a system biology approach to determine the mechanisms underlying immune stress-related responses (ISRR) to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Using a similar approach in addition to high dimensional flow-cytometry, I am also attempting to elucidate how early peanut introduction alleviates the development of
Portrait of Stella P. Hartono, M.D., Ph.D.

Muhammad Bilal Khalid, M.D. (He/Him/His)

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Education:

MBBS, Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Pakistan

Languages Spoken: Urdu, Punjabi

Dr. Khalid is a Clinical Fellow of Allergy and Immunology in the Laboratory of Allergy Diseases, Food Allergy Section. He is leading the clinical trial ‘The Safety of Administering a Second Dose of a COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine in Individuals Who Experienced a Systemic Allergic Reaction to an Initial Dose’. His research interests include understanding the biomolecular and phenotypic differences in
Portrait of Muhammad Bilal Khalid, M.D.

Stephanie Ann Kubala, M.D., FAAP (She/Her/Hers)

Allergy and Immunology Clinical Fellow

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Education:

M.D., Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University

B.A., Boston University

Languages Spoken: Spanish

My research is focused on investigating the factors that drive quality of life in food allergic patients as well as the atopic clinical attributes of patients with the immunodeficiency Activated Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase (PI3K) Delta Syndrome (APDS). Additionally, my laboratory research focuses on APDS variant’s effects on mast cell biology in vivo and in vitro using mouse models.

Portrait of Stephanie Ann Kubala, M.D., FAAP

Karen Laky, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers)

Staff Scientist, Food Allergy Research Unit

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Education:

Ph.D., University of Connecticut
M.S., Adelphi University
B.S., SUNY Binghamton

Karen Laky, Ph.D., is the Staff Scientist of the Food Allergy Research Unit. Patients with Loeys-Dietz syndrome (LDS), an autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations in genes encoding TGFβ receptors, exhibit a high prevalence of food allergy, asthma, eosinophilic esophagitis, and other allergic conditions. By studying LDS and other genetic disorders associated with defects in genes required for TGFβ signaling, we can achieve greater insight into the key cellular and signaling pathways that regulate allergic inflammation.

Portrait of Karen Laky, Ph.D.

Lashawna Alesia Leak, B.S. (She/Her/Hers)

Research Support Specialist III

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Education:

B.S., Biology, minor in Chemistry, Coppin State University

My research interests include epicutaneous sensitization and other rodent models of food allergy. I am known as the mouse expert and assist post-doctoral fellows and other trainees and staff with their mouse experiments. I have expertise in many procedures including intravenous tail injections and teach trainees these techniques.

Portrait of Lashawna Alesia Leak, B.S.

Min (Jenny) Li, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers)

Biologist

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Education:

Postdoctoral Training, 2008-2013, Yale University, School of Medicine

Postdoctoral Training, 2005-2007, Peking University

Ph.D., 2005, China Agricultural University 

Languages Spoken: Chinese

My current projects include investigating the utility of the basophil activation test in diagnosing peanut and milk allergy and interrogating the immune phenotype of patients with genetic diseases that predispose to food allergy including Loeys-Dietz syndrome (LDS) and deficiency of RUNX Family Transcription Factor 1 mutant (RUNX1)​​​​​​​.

Portrait of Min (Jenny) Li, Ph.D.

Joanna Marje Chinyere Utoh, FNP-C (She/Her/Hers)

Family Nurse Practitioner

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Education:

M.S., Nursing, School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University

B.S., Nursing, School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University

B.A., Tufts University

Languages Spoken: Spanish

Joanna Utoh is a Family Nurse Practitioner who works in the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases in the Food Allergy Research Section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She works on 3 protocols including a randomized placebo-controlled crossover study to assess the safety of administering a second dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in individuals who experienced a systemic
Portrait of Joanna Marje Chinyere Utoh, FNP-C

Ellen Zektser, R.N., B.S.N., M.P.H., C.P.N. (She/Her/Hers)

Nurse Study Coordinator

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Education:

M.P.H., Certificates in Health Communication and Health Education, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins

Certificates in Health Communication and Health Education

B.S., Nursing, Towson University

Languages Spoken: Russian

I provide support to our various clinical research studies. Currently, our studies include: a natural history of food allergy and genetics study, an oral food challenge study of patients with high IgE and eczema, and an IND study related to Covid Vaccine Allergies.

Ellen Zekster headshot
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