Personal profile


Professor Robyn O'Hehir has been a key international figure in allergy and asthma research and clinical care for over 25 years. She is an academic clinician scientist who successfully combines a strong track record in basic research with a clear commitment to clinical medicine, in this way demonstrating the value of translational medical research. The contribution of Professor O'Hehir to the allergy and respiratory field ranges from basic animal studies on the immunology of allergy and T cell epitope mapping, through translational research on novel immunogens designed to invoke protective immunity, to clinical research on the pathophysiology and management of asthma. She has more than 200 publications. The importance of her research is reflected by her success in competitive grant funding with an annual personal research budget in excess of $1.5 million. This includes continuous NHMRC funding (including 21 NHMRC or ARC grants over her career at Monash/Alfred since 1997) and a Co-operative Research Centre for Asthma and Airways. In 2007 she was honoured by the NHMRC in a publication as one of ten andldquo;Great Minds in Australian Researchandrdquo; and in 2010 was made a Life Governor of the Asthma Foundation of Victoria in recognition of 14 years service as a Director of Asthma Victoria. Professor O'Hehir also contributes to the community through membership of World Allergy Organisation committees, the Anaphylaxis and Asthma State Committees, the Food Standards Authority of Australia and New Zealand Scientific Committee and the Governing Board of Cabrini Health.

Professor O'Hehir currently serves as Editor of the international journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy. She is regularly invited to give plenary and symposium keynote talks at national and international meetings. Professor O'Hehir is Director of the Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine at The Alfred Hospital with 150 staff, studying and treating the full range of allergic and respiratory conditions. She is noted for offering the highest quality of leadership to a broadly based Department, with strong areas of basic research, clinical research, public health commitment and specialist clinical practice. She is actively engaged in national and international clinical trials, to ensure that her combined research and clinical duties focus on translation of research findings into improved Hospital and community clinical practice.

Research interests

Professor O'Hehir's research targets allergy and inflammation, addressing fundamental issues (such as the molecular characterisation of allergens, and regulators of the inflammatory response to allergens) in the context of translation to the clinic, emphasising prevention of harmful clinical outcomes such as anaphylaxis and inflammation-mediated fibrosis. She has a particular clinical and research interest in grass pollen, peanut and seafood allergy with a view to developing safe and effective diagnostics and immunotherapy for these allergic diseases. Additionally she has an active translational research program seeking to progress research and clinical trials into the role of follistatin as a therapeutic for inflammatory lung disorders including cystic fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.


  • Allergy
  • Inflammation
  • Asthma

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Projects 2000 2018

Research Output 1997 2017

Activin Biology After Lung Transplantation

Westall, G. P., Snell, G. I., Loskot, M., Levvey, B., O'Hehir, R. E., Hedger, M. P. & de Kretser, D. M. May 2017 In : Transplantation Direct. 3, 6, e159

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Open Access

Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) guidelines-2016 revision

Brozek, J. L. , Bousquet, J. , Agache, I. O. , Agarwal, A. , Bachert, C. , Bosnic-Anticevich, S. Z. , Brignardello-Petersen, R. , Canonica, G. W. A. , Casale, T. B. , Chavannes, N. H. , Correia de Sousa, J. , Cruz, A. A. , Cuello-Garcia, C. A. , Demoly, P. , Dykewicz, M. , Etxeandia-Ikobaltzeta, I. , Florez, I. D. , Fokkens, W. J. , Fonseca, J. A. , Hellings, P. W. & 1 others O'Hehir, R. Oct 2017 In : Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 140, 4, p. 950-958 9 p.

Research output: Other - peer-reviewArticle

Assessment of thunderstorm-induced asthma using Google Trends

Bousquet, J., O'Hehir, R. E., Anto, J. M., D'Amato, G., Mösges, R., Hellings, P. W., Van Eerd, M. & Sheikh, A. Sep 2017 In : Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 140, 3, p. 891-893 4 p.

Research output: Other - peer-reviewArticle

Effect of thermal processing on T cell reactivity of shellfish allergens - Discordance with IgE reactivity

Abramovitch, J. B., Lopata, A. L., O'Hehir, R. E. & Rolland, J. M. 1 Mar 2017 In : PLoS ONE. 12, 3, 18 p., e0173549

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Open Access