I am a dedicated fellowship-trained physician who is double board certified in Internal Medicine and Allergy/ Immunology. I am cross-trained in both pediatric and adult Allergy/ Immunology. My areas of expertise include food allergy, chronic urticaria and angioedema, but I also enjoy general Allergy/ Immunology. One of my favorite aspects of Allergy/ Immunology is the wide applicability to the general population and the ability to address the significant impact that allergies can have on people’s quality of life and productivity. I have trained and worked in a broad range of clinical care settings, including private practice, the VA, Kaiser and academia. My experience allows me to bring a unique perspective and skill set that incorporates the best of these practice models. I also bring significant clinical research experience that expands study start-up to manuscript preparation. I am fundamentally driven by a desire to help people and to provide quality care. I pride myself in both patient satisfaction and efficiency, as my work style is detail and process oriented. My academic passion is teaching and fostering the growth of our trainees. I grew up in San Francisco and am grateful to have settled back in the Bay Area.

Clinical Focus

  • Allergy and Immunology

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Allergy and Immunology, Allergy and Immunology (2018)
  • Fellowship: UCSD Allergy and Immunology Fellowship (2018) CA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine (2016)
  • Residency: UCLA Medical Center Internal Medicine (2016) CA
  • Medical Education: University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine (2013) CA



All Publications

  • Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy: The pro argument. The World Allergy Organization journal Chinthrajah, R. S., Cao, S., Dunham, T., Sampath, V., Chandra, S., Chen, M., Sindher, S., Nadeau, K. 2020; 13 (8): 100455


    Food allergy (FA) is a growing public health problem with personal, social, nutritional, and economic consequences. In the United States, it is estimated that 8% of children and 10.8% of adults have food allergies. Allergies to peanuts are particularly worrisome as unlike allergies to other allergenic foods, such as milk and egg, which are commonly outgrown by 5 or 10 years of age, 80% of peanut allergies persist into adulthood. The first drug for peanut allergy, Palforzia, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2020. For other food allergies, the current standard of care for the management of FA is suboptimal and is limited to dietary elimination of the offending allergen, vigilance against accidental ingestion, and treatment of allergic reactions with antihistamines and epinephrine. However, dietary avoidance can be challenging, and it is estimated that approximately 40% of patients with food allergies report at least one food allergy-related emergency department in their lifetime. Reactions, even from minimal exposures, can be life-threatening. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) has been the best researched therapeutic approach for treating FA over the last decade, with clinical trials investigating its efficacy, safety, and ability to improve participants' quality of life (QoL). A number of studies and meta-analyses have shown that OIT treatment is effective in raising the threshold of reactivity to peanuts and other foods in addition to producing a measurable serum immune response to such therapy. Although OIT-related adverse events (AEs) are common during treatment, serious reactions are rare. In fact, while the majority of patients experience AEs related to dosing, most continue daily dosing in hopes of achieving protection against the culprit food. Moreover, the majority of participants report improvement of QoL after OIT and are positive about undergoing OIT. These results show patients' commitment to OIT and their optimism regarding the benefits of treatment. As a first step in therapeutic options to protect from reactions to unintentional ingestion of allergenic foods, and importantly, to address the many psychosocial aspects of living with FA, OIT shows promise. Future research will focus on identifying optimal OIT regimens that maintain protection after therapy and allow for regular food consumption without allergic symptoms. Education and informed shared decision making between patients and providers are essential in optimizing current therapy regimens.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100455

    View details for PubMedID 33005286

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7519204

  • Radiation recall dermatitis triggered by prednisone. Cutis Galant-Swafford, J., Chen, M., Christiansen, S. C. 2020; 105 (6): E16–E18

    View details for PubMedID 32716998

  • Conflicting verdicts on peanut OIT from the ICER and FDA Advisory Committee; where do we go from here? The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology Eiwegger, T., Anagnostou, K., Arasi, S., Begin, P., Ben-Shoshan, M., Beyer, K., Blumchen, K., Brough, H., Caubet, J., Chan, E. S., Chen, M., Chinthrajah, S., Davis, C. M., Roches, A. D., Du Toit, G., Elizur, A., Galli, S. J., Haland, G., Hoffmann-Sommergruber, K., Kim, H., Leung, D. Y., Long, A., Muraro, A., Nurmatov, U. B., Pajno, G. B., Sampath, V., Saxena, J., Sindher, S., Upton, J., Worm, M., Nadeau, K. 2019

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.10.021

    View details for PubMedID 31678426

  • Analysis of Allergen-Specific T Cell and IgE Reactivity to Different Preparations of Cow's Milk-Containing Food Extracts CELLS Chen, M., Sutherland, A., Birrueta, G., Laubach, S., Leonard, S., Peters, B., Schulten, V. 2019; 8 (7)


    cow's milk allergy (CM) is among the most common food allergies in young children and is often outgrown by adulthood. Prior to developing a tolerance to CM, a majority of CM-allergic children may tolerate extensively-heated CM. This study aims to characterize the IgE- and T cell-reactivity to unheated CM and the progressively more heated CM-containing foods.CM-containing food extracts from muffin, baked cheese, custard and raw, pasteurized CM commercial extract were tested for skin prick test reactivity, IgE binding and T cell reactivity as assessed by IL-5 and IFNγ production.the skin prick test (SPT) reactivity was significantly decreased to muffin extract compared to raw, pasteurized CM. Both IgE- and T-cell reactivity were readily detectable against food extracts from all forms of CM. Western blot analysis of IgE reactivity revealed variability between extracts that was protein-specific. T cell-reactivity was detected against all four extracts with no significant difference in IL-5 or IFNγ production between them.our data indicate that despite reduced clinical reactivity, extracts from heated CM-containing foods retain immunogenicity when tested in vitro, particularly at the T cell level.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/cells8070667

    View details for Web of Science ID 000478902000060

    View details for PubMedID 31269726

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6679079

  • Acquired Donor Peanut Allergy From Lung Transplantation Resulting in Respiratory Failure: A Case Report TRANSPLANTATION PROCEEDINGS Odish, M., Chen, M., Kim, A., Floreth, T. 2018; 50 (10): 4085–86


    This case report describes a patient who acquired a donor peanut allergy after lung transplantation. A 53-year-old woman with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency underwent left-sided lung transplant from a donor with a history of anaphylaxis to peanut. Two weeks after the transplant, the patient developed acute respiratory failure immediately after consuming a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The donor's serum confirmed high titers of peanut-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE). The recipient patient had never had allergies to peanuts or other nuts before her transplant. After the transplant, she had negative serology but positive skin testing to peanuts. This case illustrates the importance of considering donor food allergies when caring for solid organ transplant recipients.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.transproceed.2018.08.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000454972000202

    View details for PubMedID 30447764

  • Mast cell disorders Protean manifestations and treatment responses ANNALS OF ALLERGY ASTHMA & IMMUNOLOGY Chen, M., Kim, A., Zuraw, B., Doherty, T. A., Christiansen, S. 2018; 121 (1): 128–30

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.anai.2018.03.027

    View details for Web of Science ID 000436596100026

    View details for PubMedID 29604336

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6026564

  • Marijuana and stoned fruit ANNALS OF ALLERGY ASTHMA & IMMUNOLOGY Bhatia, P., Chen, M., Christiansen, S. 2018; 120 (5): 536–37

    View details for Web of Science ID 000432457900018

    View details for PubMedID 29410115

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5936671

  • Preventing Peanut Allergy PEDIATRIC ALLERGY IMMUNOLOGY AND PULMONOLOGY Chen, M., Welch, M., Laubach, S. 2018; 31 (1): 2–8


    The rising prevalence of food allergy and specifically peanut allergy has had significant implications for affected patients, families, and society. The current standard of care remains strict avoidance and the use of emergency medications for accidental ingestions. There is recent evidence-based information to suggest that one approach to preventing peanut allergy lies in early introduction of peanut. This represents a paradigm shift from previous recommendations and has led to updated guidelines in the United States, Europe, and Australasia on the introduction of potentially allergenic foods in the infant diet. This new approach to prevention has some practical obstacles and challenges associated with its implementation. There is also growing interest in the role of maintaining a healthy skin barrier in prevention of sensitization and food allergy. Other approaches, including pro- and prebiotics, prenatal maternal dietary avoidance, breastfeeding, and the use of specific formulas, have not shown reproducibly favorable results. As children with peanut allergy are unlikely to outgrow their food allergy, early oral immunotherapy in those with established peanut allergy is being investigated with the hopes of altering the natural history of an otherwise lifelong disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/ped.2017.0826

    View details for Web of Science ID 000423131000001

    View details for PubMedID 29588872

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5867507

  • Baked milk and baked egg oral immunotherapy IMMUNOTHERAPY Chen, M., Land, M. 2017; 9 (15): 1201–4

    View details for DOI 10.2217/imt-2017-0112

    View details for Web of Science ID 000415059800002

    View details for PubMedID 29130798

  • Emerging Therapies in Hereditary Angioedema IMMUNOLOGY AND ALLERGY CLINICS OF NORTH AMERICA Chen, M., Riedl, M. A. 2017; 37 (3): 585-+


    Remarkable progress has been made in the treatment of bradykinin-mediated angioedema with the advent of multiple new therapies. Patients now have effective medications available for prophylaxis and treatment of acute attacks. However, hereditary angioedema is a burdensome disease that can lead to debilitating and dangerous angioedema episodes associated with significant costs for individuals and society. The burden of treatment must be addressed regarding medication administration difficulties, treatment complications, and adverse side effects. New therapies are being investigated and may offer solutions to these challenges. This article reviews the emerging therapeutic options for the treatment of HAE.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.iac.2017.03.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000406819300012

    View details for PubMedID 28687111

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5585075

  • The current state of food allergy therapeutics HUMAN VACCINES & IMMUNOTHERAPEUTICS Chen, M., Land, M. 2017; 13 (10): 2434–42


    The prevalence of IgE mediated food allergy is an increasing public health concern. The current standard of treatment is strict avoidance of the offending food(s). There are no FDA approved treatments for food allergy. This review will provide an overview of strategies currently under investigation for the treatment of food allergy. The main focus of research has been directed at various forms of immunotherapy, including oral, sublingual and epicutaneous delivery routes. While oral immunotherapy (OIT) has shown the greatest promise for efficacy in terms of amount of protein that can be ingested, it has also demonstrated less tolerability and a less favorable safety profile as compared to sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) and epicutaneous immunotherapy (EPIT), which offers the least protection but has the best safety and tolerability profile. Investigation is also underway for modified antigens that may be used for immunotherapy and for adjuncts that may help facilitate immunotherapy, including biologics such as anti-IgE therapy, and also probiotics. There are also a number of preclinical concepts that are being evaluated to manipulate the antigens and/or the immune system that may one day be translatable to patients.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000415981300041

    View details for PubMedID 28846472

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5647972

  • Elevated Lactate Levels in a Non-Critically Ill Patient JAMA-JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Chen, M., Kim, T. Y., Pessegueiro, A. M. 2015; 313 (8): 849–50

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jama.2014.14074

    View details for Web of Science ID 000349826400019

    View details for PubMedID 25710662

  • Voriconazole Antifungal Prophylaxis After Lung Transplantation And Risk Of Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Skin Kolaitis, N. A., Zhang, A., Lo, M., Barba, D., Chen, M., Soriano, T., Hu, J., Nabili, V., Saggar, R., Ross, D., Belperio, J. A., Saggar, R., Weigt, S. S. AMER THORACIC SOC. 2015

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