Wanda Phipatanakul, MD, MS
Year elected: 2017
Current membership category: Active
Director, Asthma Clinical Research Center
Professor of Pediatrics
Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School
300 Longwood Avenue Fegan 6
Boston, MA 02115
United States of America
Phone: 617-355-6117
Email: wanda.phipatanakul@childrens.harvard.edu

Biographical statement

My work has focused on environmental factors in urban children and effective strategies to reduce and prevent asthma. We were the first to document the high prevalence of mouse allergen in urban apartments. We then went on to develop strategies to mitigate these exposures in homes. Taking note of the paucity of information in schools, where children spend so much of their lives, I then went on to develop strategies to study school exposures. I built an unprecedented network of community relationships, enabling me to perform studies to comprehensively evaluate the role of the school environment in allergic disease outcomes, adjusting for exposures in the home. I am currently NIAID funded for the next logical phase, a comprehensive school environmental intervention to reduce these exposures.

I am honored to leverage my carefully phenotyped cohorts to conduct high impact clinical and mechanistic studies with experts around me. With Joel Hirschhorn we identified that acute asthma exacerbation severity is attributable to rhinovirus infection and allergen sensitization, and that omalizumab (anti-IgE) reduces virally induced asthma severity. With Talal Chatila we identified novel mechanisms whereby TH17 cell-like reprogramming of Treg cells influences inflammatory phenotypes published in Nature Medicine. I recently was awarded as PI of a NIAID-funded multi-center clinical trial using omalizumab (anti-IgE) as a strategy towards early asthma prevention in young preschool children.

I am Boston Pediatric PI for two NHLBI consortia, AsthmaNet and the Severe Asthma Research Program and was senior/corresponding author to the first randomized, blinded clinical trial, demonstrating that there was absolutely no difference in asthma outcomes between acetaminophen versus ibuprofen that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. I continue to lead my Boston Center in a number of NIH trials. My biggest passion is mentoring and have successfully shepherded a team of junior NIH investigators.

Institutional affiliations

Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital (Primary)