The Center for Food Allergy Modeling in Pigs (CFAMP) studies food allergy in the important large animal model pig. Food allergy is increasing in the human population with millions suffering worldwide from allergies to peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, shellfish, and meat to name just a few. Although the mouse model has been critical to our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis for food allergy, anatomical and physiological differences between mice and humans have left many important questions unanswered. Therefore, because of the anatomical, physiological, and immunological similarities between pigs and humans we have created CFAMP. The center will support research and education in the food allergic response of pigs; and it will use of the pig model to address key issues associated with human food allergy.

Current CFAMP Research Projects

Pathophysiological changes in the esophagus of food allergic pigs. Evan Dellon and Anthony Blikslager, PIs.

The immune response in food allergic pigs. Tobias Kaeser and Scott Laster, PIs.

Improved reagents for detecting eosinophils in pig tissues. Doug Snider and Tobias Kaeser, PIs.

Polyphenolic compounds for suppression of allergic reactivity. Mary Lila and Scott Laster, PIs.

CMI-TTP Support

The NCSU Comparative Medicine Institute and its program in Translational Physiology and Pharmacology have been critical to the founding of CFAMP.  Through CMI-TPP, personal connections were established between faculty from different colleges and departments within NCSU and with UNC Chapel Hill who share an interest in food allergy. CMI-TTP also provided seed funding and recently sponsored a retreat focused on food allergy and esophagitis. An extramural grant has been received from the CGIBD (T. Kaeser, PI) and an NIH R21 is pending.

The future of CFAMP

CFAMP has emerged organically from the interests and expertise of a set of NCSU and UNC faculty, whose activities have been facilitated by the CMI-TPP. CFAMP, and its focus on the pig model for food allergy, is unique in the United States. In the future, we foresee extensive opportunities for members of CFAMP and the impact of CFAMP on the public and scientific communities. For example, there are several existing clinical centers for food allergy and gastrointestinal disease in the US such as Food Allergy Initiative at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease (CGIBD) also at UNC Chapel Hill. Over time, we anticipate extensive collaborations will develop between CFAMP and these clinical centers as the pig model becomes established. Also, information from the pig model will undoubtedly assist clinicians develop an understanding of the symptoms presented by their patients. Because the physiology of pigs and humans is similar, preclinical discoveries in the pig model will translate rapidly into human clinical practice. We also anticipate collaborative opportunities will develop between CFAMP members and companies interested in preventing or ameliorating food allergies. Again, the similarity between human and pig anatomy and physiology should make the pig an important model for the testing of new treatments for food allergy. Finally, CFAMP will also host educational and outreach activities to bring together scientists and the general public can better understand food allergies and their control.

CFAMP Publications

  1. Esophageal eosinophilia accompanies food allergy to egg white protein in young pigs. Plundrich, N., Smith, A., Borst, L., Snider, D., Käser, T., Dellon, E., Blikslager, A., Odle, J., Lila, M., and S. Laster., Clin. Exp. Allergy. 2019. doi: 10.1111/cea.13527.

CFAMP Presentations

  1. The pig – A novel translational animal model for eosinophilic esophagitis; International Veterinary Immunology Symposium 2019, Seattle, WA. Nathalie J. Plundrich, Andrew R. Smith, Luke Borst, Laura Edwards, Tiffany Pridgen, Lizette M. Cortes, Jack Odle, Anthony Blikslager, Mary Ann Lila, Tobias Käser*, Evan S. Dellon and Scott M. Laster
  2. The pig – A novel translational animal model for eosinophilic esophagitis; Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases (CRWAD) 2019, Chicago, IL. Lizette M. Cortes, Amanda Amaral, Andrew Kick, Douglas B. Snider, Anthony Blikslager, Evan S. Dellon, Scott M. Laster and Tobias Käser*

*presenting author

Food Allergy Links

Center for Food Allergy, University of Rochester.


Food Allergy Initiative, University of North Carolina


Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.


Food Allergy Research and Education


Food Allergy, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


Food Allergies, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



For additional information on CFAMP contact Scott Laster, smlaster@ncsu.edu