Biography

Dr Isabel Skypala is a consultant dietician who has worked in adult food allergy and intolerance for over 35 years. She founded the prestigious NHS adult food allergy service at Royal Brompton Hospital and the joint gastroenterology and food allergy clinic in 2014.

Dr Skypala’s contribution to clinical allergy was recognised by the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) who awarded her the prestigious William Frankland award in 2014, the first time a non-medical practitioner had been given this award. Dr Skypala is also involved at a high level in the European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (EAACI), being the first allied health member of the Executive Committee.

Previously she has also been active in the British Society of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (BSACI) and the Food Allergy Interest Group of the British Dietetic Association (FASG). She was a cofounder of FASG and also of an international network called the International Network of Diet and Nutrition in Allergy (INDANA).

Clinical expertise

Dr Isabel Skypala's special interests include:

  • food allergy
  • food intolerance
  • food additives
  • natural food chemicals
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • eosinophilic oesophagitis
  • clinical nutrition.

She also performs:

  • diagnosis and management of adult food allergy and intolerance
  • gold standard for oral food challenge
  • dietary intervention
  • dietary management.

Dr Skypala is the clinical lead for food allergy in asthma and allergy group.

Research interests

Dr Isabel Skypala has a keen interest in allergies to plant foods. Her PhD thesis was on the prevalence and diagnosis of oral allergy syndrome, or pollen-food syndrome, the most common adult-onset food allergy. 

More recently, she has undertaken a study on a severe plant food allergy known as Lipid Transfer Protein allergy, the first study of its kind in the UK. Dr Skypala is also undertaking research into the link between food allergy and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Publications

Dr Isabel Skypala has written several books, book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals. She co-wrote and edited the book 'Food hypersensitivity', a well-respected and practical guide to the diagnosis and management of food allergy. Dr Skypala has also been an author on many peer-reviewed publications, including nine as first author.

Teaching

Dr Isabel Skypala regularly teaches on her specialism, speaking about:

  • oral allergy syndrome
  • food allergens
  • fruit and vegetable allergy
  • seafood allergy
  • food allergy diagnosis. 

At Imperial College London, Dr Skypala leads the food allergy module for the MSc in Allergy. She also lectures regularly at the annual conferences of both national and international allergy societies including FASG, BSACI, EAACI and the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (AAAAI). In addition, she has been invited to speak at smaller conferences in many countries; this has recently included Italy, Romania, Belgium and Switzerland.