Specialty
Respiratory medicine (lung)
Spoken Languages
English

Memberships

Biography

Dr Isabel Skypala is a consultant allergy dietitian and clinical lead for food allergy in the asthma and allergy group. She is also an honorary teaching fellow at Imperial College, and honorary research dietitian at Guy's Hospital, London.

Dr Skypala set up a dedicated food allergy clinic in 2010. It was intended as a one-stop shop to diagnose food allergies in patients whose history and previous tests have been inconclusive.

Food allergy can have a huge impact on the quality of life and it is vital that patients are seen in a timely manner and have access to all available tests in order to ensure they are not needlessly avoiding foods, or consuming potentially dangerous foods. 

In 2014, Dr Skypala became the first non-medical practitioner to be awarded the William Franklin award, by the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI), for her work in the clinical allergy field.

Areas of expertise

Dr Skypala's expertise includes: 

  • Diagnosing and managing adult food allergy. As an international expert, she has extensive knowledge of allergy testing, including specialist molecular allergy tests and oral food challenge. 
  • Real, authoritative knowledge about food intolerance, including the types of conditions involved and how to diagnose a food intolerance.
  • In-depth knowledge of nutrition and the dietary management of both food allergy and intolerance.

Research interests

Dr Skypala’s research interests include:

  • Researching the prevalence, diagnosis and management of pollen-food syndrome (PFS), also known as oral allergy syndrome. PFS is the most common adult-onset food allergy suffered, with fruits and nuts being the usual triggers 
  • Establishing the link between food allergy and other medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and eosinophilic oesophagitis.
  • Collaborating with colleagues, most recently from the UK and Italy, Dr Skypala has published the first report of a new plant food allergy in the UK, called lipid transfer protein allergy.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of molecular food allergy tests.

Teaching 

As well as her clinical role, Dr Skypala is also an honorary senior lecturer at Imperial College and has co-led the food allergy module of the MSc in allergy since its inception in 2009. She has also been a regular contributor to the MSc in allergy run by Southampton University.

As well as regularly being invited to speak at the annual conferences of the BSACI, EAACI, and AAAI, Dr Skypala has also presented at many other national and international conferences. These include: the Romanian Allergy Conference, the Cheltenham Science Festival, the Primary Care Conference, the Difficult Allergy & Asthma meeting in Verona, and a molecular allergy diagnostics Meeting in Zurich.

Dr Skypala also undertakes regular speaking engagements for the education of dietitians, nurses, general practitioners, medical trainees, hospital medical specialists and the general public. She is also an external examiner for Sheffield Hallam University

Memberships

Dr Skypala holds the following positions:

Registered with Health Professions Council since 1979 - DT 2261

British Dietetic Association (BDA) - member (1979-2009), Fellow (2009-to date), also positions held: founder member and chair (2003-2006) of the Food Allergy Specialist Group

British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology - member (2003- to date)          

Positions held: council member and first dietetic representative (2004-2010)

European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) - member (2009- to date).  positions held: Chair Allied Health Interest Group (2013-2015), Interest Group Representative on the Executive Committee (2015-2017), member at large on the Executive Committee (2017-2019)

American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (AAAAI) - member (2012-present)

International Network for Diet and Nutrition in Allergy (INDANA) - foundermember (2009-present). Positions held: treasurer (2009-to date), Executive Committee (2009-2016), Chair (2014-2016)

Publications

Dr Skypala has written several books, book chapters and published many articles in peer-reviewed journals. She co-wrote and edited the book, Food Hypersensitivity, a well-respected and practical guide to the diagnosis and management of food allergy. Her most recent publications include:

1. Skypala IJ, Cecchi L, Shamji MH, Scala E, Till S. Lipid Transfer Protein

allergy in the United Kingdom: Characterization and comparison with a matched

Italian cohort. Allergy. 2019 Feb 14. doi: 10.1111/all.13747. [Epub ahead of

print] PubMed PMID: 30762886.2

2. Skypala IJ, de Jong NW, Angier E, Gardner J, Kull I, Ryan D, Venter C,

Vlieg-Boerstra BJ, Grimshaw K. Promoting and achieving excellence in the delivery

of Integrated Allergy Care: the European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology

competencies for allied health professionals working in allergy. Clin Transl

Allergy. 2018 Aug 21;8:31. doi: 10.1186/s13601-018-0218-7. eCollection 2018.

Review. PubMed PMID: 30151118; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6102852.

3. Skypala IJ, McKenzie R. Nutritional Issues in Food Allergy. Clin Rev Allergy

Immunol. 2018 May 15. doi: 10.1007/s12016-018-8688-x. [Epub ahead of print]

Review. PubMed PMID: 29766369.