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From Foundation Awardee to Foundation Council Member

Dr. Peebles reflects on the importance of research funding for the future of the A/I specialty
R. Stokes Peebles, MD, FAAAAI
For R. Stokes Peebles, MD, FAAAAI, volunteering his time with the AAAAI Foundation simply made sense. “I greatly benefited from receiving a grant from the Foundation in 2001, and I wanted to give back by helping junior investigators early in their careers, just like I was helped,” he said. “The funding I received allowed me to get established and generate preliminary data for a future NIH grant. Through my work on the Foundation Council, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many junior investigators and help them advance their careers.”
Dr. Peebles was ultimately awarded funding from the Education and Research Trust (now AAAAI Foundation) for his project, "Contribution of Cyclooxygenase Products to Allergic Diseases." That funding has helped shape the course of his career. “The AAAAI Foundation funding provides protected research time for junior investigators who will go on to become division chiefs. It is critical we help fund these future allergy/immunology leaders,” Dr. Peebles said.
The AAAAI Foundation funding model is unique – it offers a large amount of funding over an extended duration. There are very few foundation grants available in the country for allergy/immunology research like the Faculty Development Award. Previously a single grant, the program has quadrupled its impact in recent years, now offering four awards every year. At its meeting in February, the AAAAI Board of Directors approved an increase in funding for the program from $240,000 to $300,000 per 3-year award.
“The hard work from everyone on the Council and the generosity of donors has made this possible,” Dr. Peebles said. “It has been a pleasure to be part of the team.”
Dr. Peebles’ term on the Foundation Council ends this year in 2023. While he’ll no longer be directly involved in the AAAAI Foundation’s work, he’ll continue to build upon the research he started 22 years ago after receiving his initial funding. “I’m still doing NIH-funded research, with a focus on developing mechanisms to decrease allergic inflammation in patients with obesity and asthma,” he said. “That research has led to a clinical trial, which is always exciting.”
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“There’s so much to discover that can improve our patient’s lives, and I’m anxious to learn about new discoveries A/I researchers are making across the globe, including from the 2023 AAAAI Foundation Faculty Development Awardees.”
R. Stokes Peebles, MD, FAAAAI
That’s only the start of the research Dr. Peebles is currently pursuing. “With one of our clinical Fellows, we’ve also been investigating the intersection between inflammation and cystic fibrosis. This novel information could lead to new treatment options for allergic asthma independent of cystic fibrosis. Our lab has also been performing research on how prostacyclin regulates T-regulatory cell function.”
The AAAAI extends its thanks to all the members of the AAAAI Foundation Council whose terms are coming to an end, and welcome to all the new council members! Those leaving the council include Dr. Peebles, Kevin Kelly, MD, FAAAAI, Mariana Castells, MD, PhD, FAAAAI, and Giselle Mosnaim, MD, MS, FAAAAI. Those joining the Council include David Khan, MD, FAAAAI, Elizabeth Phillips, MD, FAAAAI, FIDSA, David Peden, MD, MS, FAAAAI, and Frank Virant, MD, FAAAAI.
The AAAAI also congratulates the 2023 AAAAI Foundation Faculty Development Awardees. Those interested in supporting the AAAAI Foundation’s work, can click here to learn about the options available.