Laura W. Koo
PhD candidate, School of Public Health
University of Maryland College Park
FoodASC Member since 2019


Laura W. Koo

Please tell us about yourself and why you are interested in food allergies.

I’m a mom of two children with food allergies, a nurse practitioner, a nursing faculty member, and a PhD student studying public health. Our family’s lifestyle was turned upside-down when my son was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and shellfish.  We experienced other food allergy challenges when my son started kindergarten in a local public school.


What motivates you to do what you do?

I want to know how parents communicate with schools related to food allergies management.  Managing food allergies at school is complex, involving many people and locations.  I’m specifically interested in how parental health literacy, empowerment, and advocacy behaviors may be related to each other as they talk with schools about managing food allergies.


Please tell us about your research related to food allergies.

For my PhD dissertation, I’m doing an online survey of parents in two parts:  a pilot and a final survey.  The pilot survey will help me to revise the wording of the final survey.  My final survey may provide clues to “best practices” of parents who communicate with school related to food allergy management, especially about the relationships among health literacy, empowerment, and advocacy.  I will publish the results in professional journals and give summaries to parents through food allergies support groups, blogs, and websites.

Here is a link describing my PhD work at the University of Maryland School of Public Health:

How can parents contact you to participate in your survey or learn more?

Please email me at  Thanks!



Thank you Laura for being part of our Member Spotlight!  Have any more questions for Laura? Ask them in the comments below.


Member Spotlight is our column in which we interview FoodASC members to highlight their businesses, publications and personal experiences.  If you are interested in being featured or nominating another member for the spotlight, please contact


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Member Spotlight -Laura W. Koo

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