Laura W. Koo
PhD candidate, School of Public Health
University of Maryland College Park



Laura W. Koo

(Updated 12/19/2020)

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 parents’ health literacy, empowerment, and advocacy behaviors may be associated with parents’ communications 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 research survey of parents that takes 10 – 20 minutes to complete.  I invite you to participate if you are a parent, caregiver, or guardian of a child with life-threatening food allergies who attended elementary school (kindergarten through 6th grade) at any time in the past 12 months outside the home in the USA.

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?

Email to participate in the online research survey or ask questions.  We do not link your name and email to your survey responses.


We kindly ask that only one adult per family participate.  You are not eligible if you participated in the pilot survey.


Please do not post or share this outside the group.

Want to share it?  Tell others to contact me at

or 301-458-6457.  Thank you!



Laura Koo, food allergy mom and PhD candidate, University of Maryland, College Park




New to FoodASC?

Grab your guide and join the community today!

girl with balloons

Leave a Reply