News archive 2010
Professor Gideon Lack honoured27 May 2010, PR 120/10
Professor Gideon Lack, Professor of paediatric allergy at King’s College London and Head of the children’s allergy service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the prestigious William Frankland Award for distinguished services to clinical allergy.
Professor Lack commented on his award: ‘I feel very honoured to receive this award from the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI). I feel that this really is an award won by the whole department at King’s who have worked so hard to make the clinical allergy service, academic division, MRC Centre and Biomedical Research Centre such a success in the last few years’.
Professor Lack is the fourth member of staff from King’s Division of Asthma and Allergy to win this renowned award over the last few years, demonstrating the organisation’s leadership in the field of asthma and allergy.
The William Frankland award was established by the BSACI in 1999 to honour the work of Dr William Frankland. Dr Frankland worked at St Mary’s Paddington alongside Alexander Fleming (the scientist who discovered Penicillin) and was Director of the Allergy Clinic at St. Mary’s Hospital, London, which is now named the Frankland clinic.
Dr Frankland has the distinction of being the first person in the UK to demonstrate the benefits of grass pollen immunotherapy in a double blind placebo controlled study and is considered by many colleagues as the “grandfather” of clinical allergy in the UK. He was President of both the BSACI and European Society of Allergology and also a founding member of Asthma UK. When he retired from St Mary’s he came to Guy’s as an honorary consultant and helped Professor Maurice Lessof to establish the Allergy clinic.
The William Frankland award is given annually and will be formally presented to Professor Lack in June during the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology congress, taking place in London. Nominations are made by society members and the overall decision is made by the Council.
Professor Gideon Lack is Professor of Paediatric Allergy, King’s College London, a member of the MRC-Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma and an investigator within the NIHR comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London. He is also Head of the Children's Allergy Service, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Having completed his medical degree and senior house office appointments at the John Radcliffe in Oxford, he spent four years training as a paediatrician in New York, and a further four years specialising in Paediatric Allergy & Immunology in Denver, Colorado. He worked at St Mary’s Hospital London for 10 years, where he ran the Department of Paediatric Allergy and Immunology, before moving to the Evelina Children’s Hospital, at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in 2006.
Professor Lack's research has focused on the prevalence of food allergies in children and the relationship between food allergies, eczema, and asthma. He is currently leading two ground-breaking studies, known as the LEAP and EAT studies respectively.
The LEAP study involves over 600 infants with egg allergy and is set to answer questions such as whether eating peanuts during infancy makes the immune system tolerant or sensitive to peanuts consumed later on and whether one approach works better than the other in preventing peanut allergy in children. The randomised controlled trial, known as the EAT study (Enquiring about Tolerance) will involve over 2000 infants and will establish whether the introduction of allergenic foods from three months of age, alongside continued breastfeeding, results in reduced prevalence of food allergies and asthma by three years of age.
Dr Glenis Scadding President of the BSACI commented: ‘The William Frankland Award recognises Professor Lack’s marvellous achievements as a clinician and scientist, especially his work on the causes of peanut allergy and its possible prevention by the early feeding of peanuts. His enormous contribution to the specialty over many years has been of great benefit to sufferers of allergic diseases’.
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher Education 2009) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has nearly 23,000 students (of whom more than 8,600 are graduate students) from nearly 140 countries, and some 5,500 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.
The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology
The BSACI forms a collection of special interest groups including paediatrics, ENT, dermatology and gastroenterology with a remit to promote understanding of the contribution of Allergy to diseases within these disciplines and thus improve management of such diseases.
The organisation holds regional meetings across the UK for primary and secondary care professionals to raise awareness in Allergy and initiate education focused on the community practice of this speciality. A Standards of Care Committee has been set up to provide guidelines in each area of clinical Allergy, thus far those on urticaria, rhinitis and rhinosinusitis have been produced and are available to members on the BSACI website at www.bsaci.org.
Kate Moore, Public Relations Officer (Health)
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