Personal profile


As a key academic clinician-scientist in international allergy research for over 30 years, Professor Robyn O’Hehir AO successfully combines strong basic research with continuing commitment to clinical medicine. The importance of her research is indicated by her successful competitive grant funding in excess of $124 million since 1997 including continuous NHMRC funding (29 NH&MRC grants), and funding from the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, Monash Director of the CRC Asthma and Airways (12 years), Australian Food Allergy Foundation, CASS Foundation, Alfred Research Trusts and a founding member of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation in Melbourne. In 2007 she was honoured by the NHMRC as one of ten “Great Minds in Australian Research”.  Professor O’Hehir is widely published with >350 publications with over 27,800 career citations to date and a career h-index of 67 (h-index of 44 since 2016; Google Scholar May 2021).  She is the second most cited author in clinical immunology, third in allergen immunotherapy and fourth in food allergy in Google Scholar. Robyn graduated in Science and then Medicine and Surgery from Monash University, completed her PhD at University of London on a Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship and obtained postgraduate qualifications as FRACP, FRCP, FRCPath, FAHMS and FThorSoc.  She holds the Foundation Chair of Allergy in Australia, at Monash University.  

Professor O’Hehir has a longstanding interest in immunomodulation as a therapeutic treatment for allergic and other immune mediated diseases. Notably she pioneered and established methodology for cloning human allergen-specific T cells to define their biology.  Professor O’Hehir has an active patent portfolio in translational research with inventorship on 18 patent families at various stages of progression including the start-up Aravax Pty Ltd.  Her research has translated into enhanced allergen immunotherapy including for house dust mite and grass pollen aeroallergies (notably epidemic thunderstorm asthma), and currently a therapeutic for peanut allergy is progressing in clinical trials.   Professor O’Hehir served on the Cabrini Australia Board for 10 years until October 2020 and holds Membership of the Australian institute for Company Directors. In 2015 she was honoured by election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand. Professor O’Hehir is an Officer in the Order of Australia and is included in the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

Professor O’Hehir also contributes to the community through membership of the NHMRC Health Innovation Advisory Committee and is a Life Governor of Asthma Victoria.  She has served as an editor or editorial board member of the top three global discipline specific journals in allergy and clinical immunology and is currently an Associate Editor of the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. She is an Editor of the Middleton’s Principles and Practice of Allergy books.  She has supervised to completion and mentored more than 40 graduate student and currently co-supervises three PhD students. She teaches into the Monash Translational Immunology course and into the medical undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at Monash University and Alfred Health.

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.

University Service

Monash University
School of Translational Medicine & Eastern Clinical School Executive  2004-2007
School of Translational Medicine Executive  2008-
AMREP Science Council  2004-2007
The Monash-Melbourne Health Science Faculties Collaboration Committee  2004-2006
AMREP Research Committee  2003-2004
Faculty Executive, Faculty of Medicine  2001 -
Medical Faculty Research Committee  2002 -2006
Faculty Board  1996-
Promotions Committee Assoc Prof/Reader  1998 - 2002
Departmental Executive Committee Immunology  2001 -

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

External positions

Member Health Innovation Advisory Committee, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Australia)

16 Oct 201831 Dec 2021

Council Member, Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Foundation Limited

2013 → …

Board Director, Cabrini Health Limited

2010 → …

Council Member, Cabrini Health Limited

2010 → …

Research area keywords

  • Allergy
  • Inflammation
  • Asthma
  • Immunology

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or