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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 280 publications and greater than 21,000 career citations. The importance of her research is reflected by her success in competitive grant funding including continuous NHMRC funding (including 21 NHMRC or ARC grants over her career at Monash/Alfred) 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 Great Minds in Australian Research and in 2010 was made a Life Governor of the Asthma Foundation of Victoria. Professor O'Hehir also contributes to the community through membership of World Allergy Organisation committees, the Anaphylaxis and Asthma State Committees, the Clinicians Expert Advisory Committee for Thunderstorm Asthma and the Governing Board of Cabrini Health. Professor O'Hehir was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia and elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand. She has recently been appointed to the NHMRC Health Innovation Advisory Committee (2018-2021).

Professor O'Hehir currently serves as Associate Editor of the international journal Allergy, the Journal of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Professor O'Hehir is Professor/Director of Respiratory, Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Research) at Central Clinical School, Monash University and Alfred Health. 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.

External positions

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

16 Oct 201831 Dec 2021

Council Member, Sir Robert Menzies Foundation

2013 → …

Board Director, Cabrini Health

2010 → …

Council Member, Cabrini Institute Council

2010 → …


  • Allergy
  • Inflammation
  • Asthma
  • Immunology

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Projects 2000 2020

Research Output 1996 2018

Breathing pattern disorder in difficult asthma: Characteristics and improvement in asthma control and quality of life after breathing re-training

Denton, E., Bondarenko, J., O'Hehir, R. E. & Hew, M., 22 Sep 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. p. 1-3 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

Delayed diagnosis and complications of predominantly antibody deficiencies in a cohort of Australian adults

Slade, C. A., Bosco, J. J., Giang, T. B., Kruse, E., Stirling, R. G., Cameron, P. U., Hore-Lacy, F., Sutherland, M. F., Barnes, S. L., Holdsworth, S., Ojaimi, S., Unglik, G. A., De Luca, J., Patel, M., McComish, J., Spriggs, K., Tran, Y., Auyeung, P., Nicholls, K., O'Hehir, R. E. & 4 othersHodgkin, P. D., Douglass, J. A., Bryant, V. L. & van Zelm, M. C., 14 May 2018, In : Frontiers in Immunology. 9, MAY, 9 p., 694.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Epidemic thunderstorm asthma protection with five-grass pollen tablet sublingual immunotherapy: A clinical trial

O'Hehir, R. E., Varese, N. P., Deckert, K., Zubrinich, C. M., Van Zelm, M. C., Rolland, J. M. & Hew, M., 1 Jul 2018, In : American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 198, 1, p. 126-128 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

The 2016 Melbourne thunderstorm asthma epidemic: Risk factors for severe attacks requiring hospital admission

Hew, M., Lee, J., Susanto, N. H., Prasad, S., Bardin, P. G., Barnes, S., Ruane, L., Southcott, A. M., Gillman, A., Young, A., Rangamuwa, K., O'Hehir, R. E., McDonald, C., Sutherland, M., Conron, M., Matthews, S., Harun, N. S., Lachapelle, P., Douglass, J. A., Irving, L. & 4 othersLangton, D., Mann, J., Erbas, B. & Thien, F., 22 Sep 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

The Melbourne epidemic thunderstorm asthma event 2016: an investigation of environmental triggers, effect on health services, and patient risk factors

Thien, F., Beggs, P. J., Csutoros, D., Darvall, J., Hew, M., Davies, J. M., Bardin, P. G., Bannister, T., Barnes, S., Bellomo, R., Byrne, T., Casamento, A., Conron, M., Cross, A., Crosswell, A., Douglass, J. A., Durie, M., Dyett, J., Ebert, E., Erbas, B. & 36 othersFrench, C., Gelbart, B., Gillman, A., Harun, N. S., Huete, A., Irving, L., Karalapillai, D., Ku, D., Lachapelle, P., Langton, D., Lee, J., Looker, C., MacIsaac, C., McCaffrey, J., McDonald, C. F., McGain, F., Newbigin, E., O'Hehir, R., Pilcher, D., Prasad, S., Rangamuwa, K., Ruane, L., Sarode, V., Silver, J. D., Southcott, A. M., Subramaniam, A., Suphioglu, C., Susanto, N. H., Sutherland, M. F., Taori, G., Taylor, P., Torre, P., Vetro, J., Wigmore, G., Young, A. C. & Guest, C., 1 Jun 2018, In : The Lancet Planetary Health. 2, 6, p. e255-e263 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access