Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD, was recently named the first recipient of the Denise and Dave Bunning Chair for Allergy and Immunology. Cincinnati Children’s established the chair in honor of the Bunnings, who have been generous supporters of Rothenberg’s work and the advancement of the Division of Allergy and Immunology for nearly 10 years. In particular, they have helped Cincinnati Children’s make great strides in diagnosing, understanding and treating eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease, known as EGIDs.
EGIDs cause the body to treat food like a foreign invader, causing inflammation, pain and tissue damage. Says Rothenberg, “Donor support has allowed my team to pursue new ideas, often less conventional and more far-reaching than would be acceptable to typical funding agencies. Philanthropy has helped us bring major findings from the research bench to patients.”
Rothenberg, who is director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology, has focused on alleviating the suffering of patients with severe, life-altering allergies throughout his medical career. He is a pioneer in his field, leading Cincinnati Children’s as the first to form an Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease (EGID) Center, which stands as an example for dozens of EGID centers that have since been set up across the country.
Says Rothenberg, “There are now book chapters about EGID in nearly all new general and specialty medical textbooks, and over 1,000 articles have been published. There are also accepted diagnostic criteria for eosinophilic esophagitis, including ICD9 and ICD10 codes. This undoubtedly was spurred by The International Group of GI Eosinophil Researchers (TIGERS), which was supported by an instrumental gift from the Bunnings. In terms of treatment, we now have accepted medical and dietary therapies, and there is a promising pipeline of drugs and non-invasive tests under development.”
These accomplishments inspired Rothenberg to establish the Consortium of Eosinophil GI Disease Researchers (CEGIR), which is one of only 22 rare disease consortia supported by the NIH, through three NIH Institutes (NIAID, NIDDK and NCATS). He is the principal investigator of the group.
The Bunning endowed chair provides an enduring way of ensuring that Cincinnati Children’s will have the best faculty and outstanding research of EGIDs in perpetuity.
Says Rothenberg, “Cincinnati Children’s has accomplished a great deal to advance the understanding and treatment of eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases and related food allergic disorders. At the same time, we recognize that we have so much more to accomplish. The endowment of the Denise and Dave Bunning Chair will help us financially and inspire us daily to achieve our common goal of finding a cure to end these disorders."
Pictured Above: Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD (seated), received the Denise and Dave Bunning Chair for Allergy and Immunology at a dedication event in Chicago. With him are (l-r): Denise Bunning; Daniel Bunning; Michael Fisher, president and CEO, Cincinnati Children’s; Dave Bunning, and Tom Cody, chairman of the Board of Trustees, Cincinnati Children’s.
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