Thomas Jefferson UniversitySidney Kimmel Medical College

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Allergy & Immunology


The Adult Allergy Section in the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine is located across the street from TJUH. The practice’s allergists together average over 4000 patient visits a year, not counting patients coming to the office only for allergen immunotherapy, omalizumab or similar, in addition to supporting the hospital with inpatient consultations for problems such as drug allergy and desensitization. Drug desensitizations are carried out in collaboration with the division’s intensivists in the MICU. The Allergy Section’s clinical practice has recognized expertise in the evaluation of exposure related complaints, including claims of occupational, mold, and chemical exposure disorders. Other special interests include care of professional voice users, vocal cord dysfunction, food and drug allergy, and difficult to control asthma.

Under physician supervision, their staff of registered nurses undertakes pulmonary function testing, immediate and delayed hypersensitivity skin testing, food and drug challenges, and allergen immunotherapy for respiratory and venom allergy on site. Capability is also present for fiberoptic laryngoscopy.

In recent years, the allergy section has had an active and diverse program of sponsored phase II, III, and IV clinical investigations in asthma, COPD, and hereditary angioedema. They have also undertaken investigations involving allergy diagnostic methods, acquired, non-HIV related, immune dysfunction, drug allergy, and allergen immunotherapy. Fellows can gain experience with a wide variety of allergy, immunology and related pulmonary problems, pulmonary function and skin testing, and patient care.

Allergy faculty include Dr. John Cohn and Dr. Shirley Fung. They contribute to our educational conferences and also provide opportunities for specific rotations in the office for the pulmonary & critical care fellowship training. Adult allergy training for TJU’s long-standing Allergy and Immunology fellowship training program is primarily based in the Department of Pediatrics.

The Adult Allergy & Immunology Section operates under the direction of section Chief John R. Cohn, M.D. Dr. Cohn is Professor of Medicine, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. He is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College and was a resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH). He completed a combined fellowship in Allergy and Immunology and in Pulmonary Medicine at the Duke University Medical Center. He is board certified in both Allergy and Immunology and in Pulmonary Medicine. For over a decade, Dr. Cohn has been listed as a “Top Doc” in Philadelphia Magazine as well as in national publications. He is active in the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, and is past chair of their Practice, Diagnostics and Therapeutics Committee. He is an experienced bronchoscopist, and he has had considerable familiarity with respiratory insufficiency associated with neuromuscular disorders. The site includes the practice locations of Donna Carstens, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, also a Duke trained pulmonologist, and Shirley Fung, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, a former Jefferson resident, who subsequently trained in Allergy and Immunology and in Infectious Diseases. Dr. Fung is currently board certified in both subspecialties, although her current focus is in allergy and immunology. Dr. Carstens has twice won teaching awards from the house staff in the Department of Medicine.