Research Horizons


Cincinnati Children’s, UC College of Medicine Become a World Allergy Organization Center of Excellence

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine have been chosen as a World Allergy Organization (WAO) Center of Excellence for the 2022-2024 term.

The purpose of the WAO Centers of Excellence is to intensify and accelerate multidisciplinary scientific and clinical innovation, education, and advocacy worldwide. This recognition is a testament to the excellence in clinical care, education and research in Allergy and Immunology at our institutions.

Our Center of Excellence includes 34 faculty representing diverse clinical and research specialties and expertise in pediatric and internal medicine. Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD, will serve as the head of a 10-person leadership committee for the Center.

Subspecialties and Clinical Specialties

The Center of Excellence spans five subspecialties here: Allergy and Immunology, Asthma, Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology, Immunobiology, and Primary Immune Deficiency.

  • The Allergy and Immunology subspecialty is led by Rothenberg and  Jonathan Bernstein, MD. This area includes the clinical specialties of Drug Allergy, Eosinophilic Disease, and Food Allergy.
  • The Asthma subspecialty is led by Gurjit K. Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD.
  • The Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology subspecialty is led by Leah Kottyan, PhD.
  • The Immunobiology subspecialty is led by David Hildeman, PhD.
  • The Primary Immune Deficiency subspecialty is led by Michael B. Jordan, MD. This area also includes clinical specialties in Bone Marrow Transplantation and Immune Deficiency and Histiocytosis.
Training Programs

The three training programs in the WAO Center of Excellence are the Allergy and Immunology Clinical Fellowships, Allergy and Immunology Advanced Research Training Fellowship, and the Immunology Graduate Program.

  • The pediatric and internal medicine Allergy and Immunology Clinical Fellowships are led by Kimberly Risma, MD, PhD, and Kristin Schmidlin, MD, respectively, and are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
  • The Allergy and Immunology Advanced Research Training Fellowship is collaboratively led by Risma and Rothenberg.
  • The Immunology Graduate Program is led by Ian Lewkowich, PhD, and has an associated NIH T32 award.

The benefits of becoming a WAO Centers of Excellence include:

  • Providing scientific support in the development and dissemination of global educational resources
  • Providing mentorship for research and training for WAO junior members
  • Collaboration opportunities through lectureships and research fellowships with other Centers of Excellence to further education and research
  • Conducting educational programs in collaboration with WAO, including webinars
  • Collaborating in Primary Care Physician programs of WAO
  • Active participation during World Allergy Week

The WAO Center of Excellence helps propel our already excellent immunology community to even higher levels.


We would like to thank Shawna Hottinger, MS, ELS, for spearheading the 982-page application, and to all of the WAO Center of Excellence leaders and mentors. A special thanks to Alison Kissling, MLIS, of the Pratt Library; Isabel Castro, Ian Lewkowich, PhD, and David Hildeman, PhD, of the Immunology Graduate Training Program; Leah Kottyan, PhD, of the Center of Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology; and Heather Bingham, Kimberly Risma, MD, PhD, and Kristin Schmidlin, MD, of the Allergy/Immunology Fellowship Training Programs at Cincinnati Children’s and the UC College of Medicine for providing information and insight that made our application a success.