ausEE Inc.

a charity dedicated to improving lives affected by eosinophilic disorders

Our Medical Advisors

All medical information we provide has been contributed by or reviewed for accuracy by a member of our Medical Advisory Board:

Professor Pete Smith (MBBS, BMedSci, FRACP PhD, Allergist & Immunologist) is a leading allergist and immunologist in Australia. Pete commenced his medical studies at the University of Tasmania and went on to specialise in paediatrics in Adelaide, before completing his PhD in molecular immunology with Flinders University. He has worked as an allergy specialist at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, and was a senior lecturer at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. In 2002, Pete set up Queensland Allergy Services in Southport, on the Gold Coast. Here he provides patients the highest level of quality medical care in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies. Pete is a Professor in Clinical Medicine at Griffith University and Bond University. He currently conducts research studies into the molecular aspects of pain in allergic conditions. Pete is also doing studies in genetic profiling in rhinitis and is part of an international study that is attempting to treat peanut allergy.

Dr Ralf Heine (MD FRACP, Paediatric Allergist & Gastroenterologist) completed his training in Paediatric Allergy and Gastroenterology at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and currently holds joint appointments as Senior Staff Specialist in the Departments of Allergy & Immunology, and Gastroenterology & Clinical Nutrition at RCH. He has a clinical and research interest in food allergy and anaphylaxis, food intolerances, coeliac disease, eosinophilic oesophagitis and paediatric nutrition.

Professor Katie Allen (MBBS, BMedSci, FRACP PhD, Paediatric Allergist & Gastroenterologist) is undertaking research in the evolving field of food allergy. She is a prestigious Viertel Senior Medical Research Fellow and is the principal investigator of the HealthNuts study - the largest single centre population-based study of food allergy in children ever mounted. Despite this she remains an active clinician in both the Department of Allergy and the Department of Gastroenterology at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. She is a member of the Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders committee for American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and of the Paediatric and Education committees for Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. She has published more than 80 peer-reviewed papers including 2 recent invited reviews on eosinophilic oesophagitis. Along with Ralf Heine she is currently mounting a study looking at the effectiveness of dietary intervention for the management of eosinophilic oesophagitis in children.

Dr Looi Ee (MBBS, FRACP, PhD, Paediatric Gastroenterologist) trained in paediatric gastroenterology in Perth and Cincinnati, USA. She has an interest in childhood nutrition and feeding difficulties, and leads the Parenteral Nutrition Service at Lady Cilento Hospital, Brisbane. She established the first multidisciplinary Gastrostomy Clinic in Queensland at Royal Children’s Hospital in 2005, and helped develop patient information handouts on Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy for Digestive Health Foundation. She was previously on the committees of Gastrointestinal Expert Group for Therapeutic Guidelines (2016, 2011), and Digestive Health Foundation, and is a past president of the Australian Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition.

Dr Sam Mehr (MBBS, BMedSci, FRACP, FRCP, Allergist/Immunologist). Dr Mehr completed his medical degree at the University of Melbourne and trained both at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney. He has been a Consultant Allergist/Immunologist for 10 years in both public and private practice. His current appointments include Consultant Staff Specialist in Allergy and Immunology at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Honorary Medical Officer at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Immunopathologist at Dorovitch Pathology, Sub-editor of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health and he sits of various committees (Allergy working party for Immunology QAP, Immunotherapy working party of ASCIA, Paediatric subcommittee of ASCIA, AusEE patient support group, and Centre for Food & Allergy Research). He has an ongoing strong interest in non-IgE food allergy, including FPIES and eosinophilic esophagitis.

Dr Ajay Sharma (MBBS, MD, FRACP, Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist). After completing his Paediatric specialty training through the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) in Melbourne and Perth, Dr Sharma further undertook sub specialty training in Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology at The Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth. He subsequently worked as a clinical fellow for a year in Paediatric Gastroenterology and Liver transplantation at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Dr Sharma is committed to improve gastrointestinal health and nutrition for WA children. He has special interests in inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Eosinophilic esophagitis, Celiac disease, GERD, Nutrition and liver conditions in children. Dr Sharma is fully accredited for Paediatric endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures. He is also the member of North American Society For Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN), American Association For The Study Of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and Gastroenterology Society Of Australia (GESA).

Wendy Birks (Paediatric Dietitian - Feeding Clinic & Allergy) has over 30 years of experience as a clinical dietitian. She has worked in a variety of hospitals and community settings for both adults and children. Wendy has been practising at the Children’s Hospital Westmead for the last 10 years as well as establishing her private practise. She provides dietetic care for infants and children with food allergies, feeding difficulties and faltering growth. She has a particular interest in working with families of children with complex nutritional issues relating to their medical condition. Her aim is to maximise their nutrition and growth without compromising the pleasure associated with eating. Along with this she has an extensive knowledge of cooking and meal planning to help families adjust to changing their diets.


Page last modified: 17 February, 2017