Vicki McWilliamVicki McWilliam

Vicki is a clinical specialist dietitian in the Department of Allergy and Immunology at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Vicki has worked in this area for the past 12 years and in this time has developed extensive expertise in the clinical aspects of paediatric food allergy and nutrition. Vicki has recently commenced formal research, alongside her clinical role, with her involvement as an Associate Investigator on the Centre for Food & Allergy supported, NHMRC-funded, randomised controlled trial of a 4-food elimination diet for the induction of remission in Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Vicki has also commenced a part-time PhD with the University of Melbourne based at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute exploring the nutritional aspects of paediatric food allergy. She is supported by a Centre for Food & Allergy Research scholarship.


Rosita Zakaria

Rosita is a medical scientist at the Austin pathology, biochemistry department. She has obtained her bachelor and master of biomedical sciences degrees in diagnostic laboratory field, with the background of immunology-haematology and clinical biochemistry. Along with her part time clinical role in the diagnostic laboratory, currently she is a PhD student at Centre of Food and Allergy Research at the Murdoch children’s research institute and RMIT University. “Paediatric Food Allergy and the Role of Vitamin D and A” is the title of her PhD project aiming to investigate whether vitamin D insufficiency in association with vitamin A status at birth, predicts the higher risk of allergic diseases in early childhood.

IMG_8963Noor Suaini

Noor is a PhD student with the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. She is based at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in the Gastro & Food Allergy group. She joined the group in 2012 as a Bachelor of Science (Honours) student with the University of Melbourne. She then stayed on as a Research Assistant for 2 years before pursuing her PhD in April 2015. The aim of her PhD project is to explore the gene-environment interactions for the risk factors in food allergy, using data from the HealthNuts study. In particular, she will be examining the interactions involving two risk factors – microbial exposure and the filaggrin gene.

Thimo Ruethers CFAR PhD studentThimo Ruethers

Thimo is a current PhD student (James Cook University, Townsville) under supervision of CFAR investigators A/Prof Andreas Lopata and Prof Dianne Campbell. His Bachelor and Master studies were accomplished in Germany (Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf) while he conducted research in Australia, Vietnam and Austria. For years as a member of the Molecular Immunology Research Group (A/Prof Andreas Lopata) Thimo has investigated the major fish allergen Parvalbumin from a large variety of bony fish as well as sharks and rays. Now he is working on the identification and molecular characterization of Asia-Pacific fish allergens in purpose to improve diagnostics of fish allergy in Australian children.

KRueterKristina Rueter

Kristina is a Paediatric Allergist who graduated at the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany and completed her thesis of doctorate in Immunology (Title: ”The Influence of Interferon-gamma on the expression of histocompatibility antigens on leucaemic blasts and their sensitivity to cytotoxic cells“) at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin. Before she moved to Australia she completed her specialist training in the Department of Paediatric Immunology under Professor Ulrich Wahn at the Charité University Medical Center in Berlin, Germany. Kristina received specialist recognition in Australia in 2009 and has been working as a consultant in the department of Paediatric Immunology at Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth since. She is also a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia. Due to her strong research interest in allergy prevention and food allergy she joined the children’s allergy and immunology research group (CAIR) around Professor Susan Prescott and Dr Debbie Palmer in 2011. She successfully obtained a New Investigator grant on a RCT investigating the effect of vitamin D on allergy outcome in early childhood (VITAL) and subsequently commenced her PhD at the University of Western Australia, School of Paediatrics and Child Health.

MEstcourtMarie Estcourt

Marie is undertaking her MPhil through the department of Population Health at the University of Western Australia. She is primarily based at the Telethon Kids Institute in WA, where she is co-supervised by CFAR chief investigator Dianne Campbell. Marie is conducting a research project for her thesis, “Case-cohort study of the association between pertussis vaccination in infancy and the risk of IgE-mediated food allergy” that she hopes to be completed by end of 2017. Marie is interested in investigating the impact of different types of pertussis vaccine received in infancy on the development of food allergy. Marie holds a PhD in Medical Science from ANU and her background is in vaccine development and viral immunology.

K Profile photoDr Kuang Hsiao

Kuang is a paediatric allergist and immunologist. He is currently a sessional specialist at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and an invited lecturer of the Department of Paediatrics at The University of Melbourne. He is a PhD candidate and for his thesis is investigating the immunologic mechanisms and long-term clinical efficacy of an oral immunotherapy (Probiotic and Peanut Oral Immunotherapy – PPOIT) for treatment of peanut allergy. His other research interests include age-related changes of immunological biomarkers in healthy children.