Allergies: Why me and why now?

Name of applicant

Jonathan Coquet


Associate Professor


University of Copenhagen


DKK 5,000,000



Type of grant

Semper Ardens: Accelerate


We aim to understand why allergic diseases, which were quite rare a couple of centuries ago, now affect a large proportion of our population. We will also explore why some allergies may come and go during our lifetime. Genetics certainly play a role in the development of allergy, but large changes in the world’s environment and our way of living have also played a part.


There is a strong perception that changes in the microbes we are exposed to, or those that live in our intestines, are responsible for the rise in allergies and other inflammatory disorders. However, it has been hard to say precisely which microbes play this role and pinpoint how they do so. Before we can implement strategies to prevent allergies that utilise microbes, we need more evidence.


To better understand the protective role that microbes may play in preventing allergic diseases, we will compare how populations of clean or dirty mice respond when faced with common allergens. These experiments will be conducted in highly controlled laboratory settings. To understand the ‘on and off’ nature of many allergies, we will also keep a close eye on T and B cells, which are the key.

Back to listing page