Atopic Dermatitis and Eczema Pediatric Research and Clinical Trials

Research & Innovation

Children’s Hospital Boston’s Atopic Dermatitis Center is a program of the Division of Allergy and Immunology, and develops treatments informed by our research.   Dr. Lynda Schneider is a principal investigator for the NIH Atopic Dermatitis Research Network (ADRN) which is focused on atopic dermatitis (AD) and its association with both immune and skin barrier defects. Dr. Schneider is also an investigator for a long term study of children who have used topical tacrolimus ointment.  Children’s is home to the world’s most extensive research enterprise at a pediatric hospital.

 Interdisciplinary research

 Children’s is researching genetic and environmental risk factors which predispose children to developing atopic dermatitis in an interdisciplinary research project. Our Division of Allergy and Immunology and the Program in Genomics are teaming up to uncover how the disease is caused, find participants who have observable signs of atopic dermatitis and identify possible genetic mutations. Ultimately, the data collected from their study will allow researchers to pursue other hypotheses, and to look for gene-environment interactions in the development of atopic dermatitis.

Geha Laboratory
Dr. Geha, MD, Chief of Division of Immunology, leads the Geha laboratory on researching the molecular mechanisms of primary immunodeficiency diseases and atopic dermatitis. Dr. Geha leads animal studies under the NIH Atopic Dermatitis Research Network (ARVN), a multicenter study aimed at understanding the basis of the susceptibility of patients with AD to eczema vaccinatum (EV) and vaccinia dissemination. Read more about the Geha Laboratory.


Oettgen Laboratory
Hans Oettgen, MD, PhD, is leading the Oettgen Laboratory in researching the regulation of immune responses by IgE antibodies, immunobiology of eczema vaccinatum and mechanisms of food allergy. Read more about the Oettgen Laboratory.


Lynda Schneider, MD, director of Children’s Allergy Program, discusses the landmark food allergies study

Children’s Hospital Boston is the first to combine an allergy drug with regular milk drinking to help desensitize a child’s immune system to milk, and thus reduce the allergic reaction to milk. More specifically, the allergy drug omilzumab (marketed by Genentech under the name Xolair®) was paired with gradual increased oral consumption (drinking) of milk to help reduce the overreaction of immunoglobulin E (IgE) to the milk, and thus reduce the allergic reaction.

Nine of the eleven child participants successfully completed the study, and are currently consuming 8 to 12 ounces of milk a day to maintain their tolerance. Learn more, and join the conversation on Children’s Vector blog.