Dr Sheryl van Nunen is Senior Staff Specialist in the Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney and Clinical Associate Professor at the Sydney Medical School- Northern, University of Sydney.
She first described the association between tick bites and the subsequent development of mammalian meat anaphylaxis, documented the first instance of a proven IgE-mediated mechanism in anaphylaxis to a food (mammalian meat) in systemic mastocytosis and first described ticks as an insect causing anaphylaxis in systemic mastocytosis.
From 1985, until its merger with the Department of Clinical Immunology in late 2012, she was Head of the Department of Allergy at Royal North Shore Hospital. During this time she fostered innovation and scholarship within the Department and was the chief investigator in clinical trials of 75% of all new treatments for allergic conditions introduced to Australia.
Dr van Nunen has published over 100 papers and articles regarding stinging insect hypersensitivity, anaphylaxis/food allergy, basic science of allergy, latex allergy, contact dermatitis, drug allergy, allergic rhinitis and urticaria/angioedema.
A keen teacher and recipient of an Excellence in Clinical Tutoring Award from the Northern Clinical School, she has taught medical students at the University of Sydney for 35 years. She has also supervised higher degree candidates for the University of Sydney.
Dr van Nunen has been invited to speak in the People’s Republic of China, Argentina, Indonesia, Vietnam and New Zealand, as well as throughout Australia and New South Wales. In addition, she helped tutor Papua New Guinea’s first Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, organised the first delegation to China by the Australian College of Allergy (now the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy), trained and sponsored our Chinese colleague who set up Shanghai’s first (and China’s second) Allergy Clinic and supervised the inaugural Hoc Mai Foundation (University of Sydney) Fellow in Clinical Immunology and Allergy, later establishing with our Vietnamese colleague a now long-standing e-consultation service between Vietnam and Australia.
Dr van Nunen, as a media spokesperson for allergy, in a voluntary capacity, for the Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian College of Allergy, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, the National Asthma Campaign and now the National Asthma Council Australia, has contributed to the understanding of allergic conditions by the public via numerous requested media contributions to television, radio, print media (popular books, newspapers, magazines and pamphlets), video productions and presentations, media launches and releases and audiotape presentations.
Currently, her research interests comprise tick-induced allergies (both mammalian meat and tick induced anaphylaxis), new treatments for, and causes of, hayfever, egg allergy management in children and adrenalin autoinjector use in anaphylaxis, whilst being a member of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy’s Working Parties on Anaphylaxis and Insect Allergy.