In This Section

spergel [at]
Location - People View

3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Research Topics
Jonathan M. Spergel, MD, PhD
Jonathan M. Spergel Headshot
Chief, Allergy Section

Dr. Spergel focuses on translational research in IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated food allergy, examining novel clinical methods for desensitization and curing food allergy. His other main projects are to identify predictive factors for severity of reactions using molecular, physiologic, and clinical parameters.



Subscribe to be notified of changes or updates to this page.


Dr. Spergel's research encompasses the bench-to-bedside aspect of all types of food allergy, including anaphylaxis, food protein-induced enterocolitis, and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Dr. Spergel and his colleagues have looked at genetic risk factors for EoE and IgE-mediated food allergy and identified the critical role for TSLP in the disease in mouse and human studies. The team has also examined the interplay of T cells and epithelial cells in EoE, focusing on fibrosis and activations of food-specific T cells. They have found that food-specific Th2 cells exist and can be detected in the peripheral blood of patients with active EoE.

Dr. Spergel has also been active in IgE-mediated food allergies, investigating the rate of allergic reactions and the risk factors for identifying individuals at risk for severe life-threatening reactions. He and his team have been using the latest molecular techniques including metabolomics, RNAseq, and transcriptomes assays to identify risk factors, and they also are using large electronic medical records to identify demographic or clinical features that identify this high-risk population.

Dr. Spergel is active in and has led multicenter clinical trials for food allergy, EoE, or atopic dermatitis sponsored by NIH, PCORI, industry, foundations, and academic partners. Here are some examples Dr. Spergel's notable accomplishments:

  • Identified that foods cause eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Identified four genetic risk factors for eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Identified the role of T cells in eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Found that peanut allergy can be outgrown

Education and Training

AB, Princeton University (Chemistry)

PhD, City University of New York (Biomedical Sciences), 1992

MD, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

Fellowship, Boston Children's Hospital (Allergy/Immunology), 1998


Titles and Academic Titles

Chief, Allergy Section

Co-Leader, Food Allergy Center Frontier Program

Stuart E. Starr Chair of Pediatrics

Attending Physician

Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, 2003-

Society for Pediatric Research, 2004-

American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, 2005-

American Academy of Pediatrics, 2005-

Professional Awards

Ethel Brown Foerderer Award of Excellence, 2000

Pennsylvania Allergy and Asthma Research Award, 2000

Publication Highlights

Wang KY, Lee J, Cianferoni A, Ruffner MA, Dean A, Molleston JM, Pawlowski NA, Heimall J, Saltzman RW, Ram GS, Fiedler J, Gober LM, Spergel JM, Brown-Whitehorn TF. Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome Food Challenges: Experience from a Large Referral Center. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2018 Sep; pii: S2213-2198(18)30585-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2018.09.009. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30243880
Fahey LM, Chandramouleeswaran PM, Guan S, Benitez AJ, Furuta GT, Aceves SS, Wang ML, Liacouras CA, Muir AB, Sleiman PM, Hakonarson H, Spergel JM, Cianferoni A. Food allergen triggers are increased in children with the TSLP risk allele and eosinophilic esophagitis. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar; 9(3):139. doi: 10.1038/s41424-018-0003-x. PMID: 29511165
Cianferoni A, Ruffner MA, Guzek R, Guan S, Brown-Whitehorn T, Muir A, Spergel JM. Elevated expression of activated TH2 cells and milk-specific TH2 cells in milk-induced eosinophilic esophagitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 Feb; 120(2):177-183.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2017.11.006. Epub 2017 Dec 28. PMID: 29289462
Menard-Katcher C, Benitez AJ, Pan Z, Ahmed FN, Wilkins BJ, Capocelli KE, Liacouras CA, Verma R, Spergel JM, Furuta GT, Muir AB. Influence of Age and Eosinophilic Esophagitis on Esophageal Distensibility in a Pediatric Cohort. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep; 112(9):1466-1473. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2017.131. Epub 2017 May 16 PMID 28508868
MacGinnitie AJ, Rachid R, Gragg H, Little SV, Lakin P, Cianferoni A, Heimall J, Makhija M, Robison R, Chinthrajah RS, Lee J, Lebovidge J, Dominguez T, Rooney C, Lewis MO, Koss J, Burke-Roberts E, Chin K, Logvinenko T, Pongracic JA, Umetsu DT, Spergel J, Nadeau KC, Schneider LC. Omalizumab facilitates rapid oral desensitization for peanut allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Mar; 139(3):873-881.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.08.010. Epub 2016 Sep 5.PMID:27609658